In June 2018, Sound Diplomacy began work on an extensive music audit and strategic roadmap, enveloping the four cities of the Shoals Region.
This project was supported through joint cooperation with all four cities, plus the Florence CVB and the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area, plus support from the private sector, demonstrating the cooperative nature of local leadership. The project, lasting just over a year, is tied with the now published, and adopted, music audit in Huntsville. Together, both studies are the most extensive music ecosystem survey in the nation.
One-on-one interviews and round table sessions were conducted on site, and were followed by a survey and mapping
of the industry to identify the challenges and opportunities in the city, an economic impact analysis of the music sector, a second visit,
and further analysis to present a series of actions to help propel the Shoals region toward its objectives. The recommendations will be
taken forward by the Muscle Shoals Music Association and a new implementation board, made up of key stakeholders across all genres, disciplines and backgrounds in the Shoals. They include enhancing local regulation to protect, enrich and better support music and continue to develop partnerships that merge economic development, tourism, an enhance quality of life and social inclusion across the region.
This project reasserts the Shoals as the heart of music in the Southern U.S. We want to thank every stakeholder who engaged with us during the process and welcome working with all participants and
thought leaders in taking forward these recommendations together, to continue to develop a progressive, economically prosperous music
ecosystem that respects the past, promotes the present and looks towards the future.
Dr. Shain Shapiro
CEO, Sound Diplomacy