February, 2018

Dear Reader:

Welcome to the inaugural issue of “Music Worker,” a newsletter by the Content Creators Coalition (c3).

When we started c3, our goal was to create an essential resource for artists. We want to be a key resource for the entire creative community — from sharing information about the day to day grind of touring to monitoring and explaining industry developments affecting their bottom line and artistic freedom to speaking out in legislative and policy debates to ensuring that our voice is heard when decisions are made that shape the music economy.

In our very short existence, with the help of so many of you and our current and former staff, we have made strides towards that goal. You can read the most recent chapter of that story in our roundup of our 2017 activities below.

In 2018, we are taking our next, big steps towards fulfilling our vision for c3. This newsletter is the first of those steps. (For the rest, stay tuned.)

Why “Music Worker”? Popular culture portrays the life of artists — and especially musicians — as a glamourous swirl of private jets, Cristal champagne, and lobster dinners (or tiny folding sandwiches). Real life is different. Don’t get us wrong, we love what we do, but it is hard work. And as you all know, it’s a lot less glamour and a lot more sleeping in a van and backstage plates of carrots and ranch dressing well past their prime.

As working artists, we want to create a resource that speaks to the reality of the music business. What are the challenges of recording and touring? How will new industry deals and technology change affect us and you? How could the D.C. discussion about copyright and music licensing affect our rights, and where is that debate missing the boat?

We want to create a community of artists that come together, help each other, and advocate for our shared interests and for the next generation of artists.

Most importantly, we exist to advocate and champion fair treatment, empathy and respect for artists — and all people.

At the time of this writing, it is one day after yet another horrific shooting, this time at a Florida high school with at least 17 dead and countless lives shattered.

Our hearts are heavy, but we are also angry. We’ve had enough hollow, political statements of sympathy, followed by inaction.

Just a few months ago, the worst mass shooting in American history occurred where we work — at a music festival in Las Vegas. At the time, c3’s Rosanne Cash penned an op-ed in The New York Times urging country and American roots musicians to clearly and loudly stand up to the National Rifle Association. We are reprinting it in this newsletter — and we will keep making this argument as long as our leaders refuse to act.

For the victims of gun violence, we offer not just our thoughts and prayers, but a vow that our actions will match our words.

We’re grateful you’ve joined us and hope you stick around.

Melvin Gibbs

Rosanne Cash

Tommy Manzi

John McCrea

Tift Merritt

Matthew Montfort

Artist-run, non-profit advocating for musicians, performers, & songwriters in the digital landscape. (Formerly the Content Creators Coalition or “c3”)

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