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Music conference aims to support Connecticut’s flourishing music industry

Connecticut Office of the Arts

The Connecticut Office of the Arts is hosting a one day READI Set Music Conference on Oct. 7 to celebrate the state’s long musical history while also providing an opportunity where artists can gain the skills needed to succeed in the industry. The event will be hosted at the creative campus NXTHVN in New Haven from 10 a.m to 5 p.m.

“In recent years, there has been more and more talent uprising, creating and doing dynamic things but sometimes there is a lack in an organization structure to support the ecosystem and build infrastructure,” said Kolton Harris, the program manager at the state Office of the Arts. “We saw ourselves as a platform to galvanize that and bring people together.”

READI Set Music Conference will feature a handful of events like panel discussions, keynote speakers and live musical sessions to help artists not only elevate and enhance their craft to the next level, but also educate artists on the logistics of the music industry. There will be informational sessions on understanding how to protect intellectual property, music and music video production and networking opportunities.

Some of the planned events include a producer’s circle, where award-winning producers will demonstrate how they create songs, in addition to sessions with engineers, creative directors and photographers who have worked with some of the artists that are currently driving the industry Harris said.

Global creative director and designer Ace Bowerman will lead the session called “The Show,” which is about techniques to masterfully craft a set and show design. Bowerman has worked with Ed Sheeran, sensational K-pop band Blackpink and Dua Lipa.

“The music conference is all about getting artists the resources they need all while building a community within the creative industry,” Harris said.

He said the conference aspires to help the growth and development of music infrastructure within the state by providing a shared space where creatives can learn from and with one another. Through the “Plug and Playscape” event, artists can share their music in the “bedroom-like set-up” with an aux cord or Bluetooth connection and the instruments available to enjoy exchanging creative ideas with each other

The goal is to include creatives at all stages of their careers — whether they are seasoned, mid-level or just starting out — to ensure accessibility and relevance to all attendees.

The state is collaborating with the City of New Haven’s Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism, Cultured AF, The Breed Entertainment and Sweets & Sounds Entertainment.

“Partnering with these creative entities are helping curate workshops, present performing artists and continuing to amplify and tailor their strengths to make this conference more well-rounded, diverse and eclectic,” Harris said.

The music conference hopes to be an immersive and interactive opportunity where artists ignite their skills, gain crucial knowledge and build invaluable connections with other creatives to amplify their work.

General admission tickets are $25 and can be purchased online.

Jenna Zaza is a news intern at WSHU for the fall of 2023.