CSU, Chico News

Music Industry Students Lobby With Stars in Washington April 2-3, Will Cohost Downtown Music and Arts Faire April 17

Date: 04-09-2014

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico music industry students had a unique opportunity last week to participate in an awards ceremony and lobbying effort in Washington, D.C., involving big names in the recording industry.

Students James Gibbs, Noah Ben-Eishai and Corrie Clark helped organize the annual Grammys on the Hill Awards held April 2 at The Hamilton, a major live music venue in Washington, D.C. The following day, they visited U.S. House of Representatives’ offices with artists and members of the Recording Academy advocacy group.

Lady Antebellum, Hanson, Dionne Warwick and Los Lonely Boys were among the star musicians performing at the Washington, D.C., gala, which presents awards to supporters of the recording industry and artists. Among those honored were House of Representatives Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

CSU, Chico was the only university represented at the events. Anita Rivas, director of the music industry program, said Gibbs had researched how CSU, Chico students could get involved in advocacy efforts. He made connections with the Recording Academy’s San Francisco chapter and Grammy U, an arm of the academy for college students, and an invite to Washington, D.C., resulted.

“It was absolutely incredible to be included in events involving so many established and powerful people,” said Gibbs, a senior from the San Diego area. “It was great networking, but also great to meet people who have made it and want to help the younger generation.”

The focus of the Grammys on the Hill event and subsequent lobbying is to advocate for artists’ rights. Rivas said rightful compensation for artistic work is threatened in a number of ways, including unlawful use of music on the Internet.

CSU, Chico music students are also educating the local community about the value of music and the arts in general. School of the Arts Productions (SOTA), operated by music industry students, is collaborating with the Downtown Chico Business Association and Chico News & Review to present a freeMusic and Arts Faire at the Downtown Plaza Thursday, April 17, 6 to 9 p.m., during the Thursday Night Market.

The event, featuring the theme, “Keep Chico Creative,” will include interactive music clinics including how to be a DJ, sound art demonstrations, and many more activities. The Music and Arts Faire will also showcase artists and musicians as well as local businesses, which consistently support the arts and culture of Chico.