City of Music Career Day Roadshow at a High School near you

On Tuesday March 22nd the Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), the Arts Commission, Music Commission, and the Office of Film + Music brought Executive Director of The Vera Project  (and Seattle Music Commissioner) Tim Lennon, and ARTS’ Digital Media Specialist (and Stranger writer and KEXP DJ/musician ) Larry Mizell Jr to Nathan Hale High School to speak to students for the City of Music Career Day Roadshow. Mizell and Lennon spoke with two classes of young people that were engaged and curious, and answered questions about getting experience, making connections, and finding opportunities to work in the music industry. (A request to freestyle was sadly denied.)

A few students knew about the organizations that Mizell and Lennon represented, a couple had heard Larry’s radio show, and one was already volunteering at Vera, but it was news to most in attendance. After talking with Lennon and Mizell, some students expressed excitement, and made plans with each other before they left the room, to volunteer at one or more of the organizations in the future. All in all, the roadshow was a great opportunity to spread the word about the annual City Of Music Career Day, what making a living in the arts and music can mean, and about how to crack the too-often-inscrutable puzzle of “how to get started”.

City of Music Career Day Roadshows: A new partnership in 2016 with Seattle Public Schools, produced in partnership with Seattle Music Commission, Office of Film + Music, Seattle Arts Commission and Office of Arts & Culture, the City of Music Career Day Roadshows are concentrated outreach and engagement programs that pair two music industry professionals (musicians, producers, radio personalities, record labels, etc.) and brings them into the classroom to share their artistic, creative, and professional experiences with students. It provides a direct connection for students to learn about the diverse opportunities and career pathways available in the music industry. Additionally, it raises awareness and interest in the annual City of Music Career Day event.

It all happened here: City of Music Career Day, April 22, 2015

Last month, the Office of Arts & Culture helped to organize City of Music Career Day along with the Office of Film & Music, the EMP Museum, and One Reel. The free, all-day educational event took place on April 22nd at various locations around Seattle Center, providing high school and college students the unique opportunity to learn directly from music industry professionals.

Photos by Brady Harvey


The day began with a few introductions from Office of Film & Music Director Kate Becker, Mayor Ed Murray, and Office of Arts & Culture Director Randy Engstrom (pictured).

For the Keynote address, KEXP’s John Richards (left) held a lively interview with manager Zach Quillen (center) and hip hop producer/music video director Ryan Lewis (right).



Students were given the opportunity to ask questions at the Keynote address and smaller breakout sessions.



After the Keynote, the group broke into smaller sessions on more focused topics. At the Artist panel, Dr. Quinton Morris of Seattle University (center) answers questions about opportunities to create music as a career.




Larry Mizell Jr., KEXP DJ and columnist for The Stranger, and Emily Nokes, lead singer of Tacocat and The Stranger’s music editor, also participated in the Artist panel.


Students listened to members of the Industry panel discuss behind-the-scenes careers in marketing, licensing, retail, artist management, and more.


The Tech panel highlighted career opportunities at the intersection of music and technology, such as audio design for video games and user interface for music subscription services.


Studio panel participants Vitamin D, Erik Blood, and Moe Provencher (left to right) discussed careers in music production and engineering.



At lunch, students had the opportunity to engage with mentors from Seattle-area music organizations and businesses, and after, they enjoyed live performances from local music artists. Above, Seattle Weekly’s Mark Baumgarten (right) interviews Seattle artist Shaprece (left).



Shaprece performed with musician Phillip Peterson (left) and producer IG88 (right).


Local musician, singer, and songwriter Tomo Nakayama gave the final performance of the day.