About the Author
Chad Swiatecki is a 20-year journalist who relocated to Austin from his home state of Michigan in 2008. He most enjoys covering the intersection of arts, business and local/state politics. He has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Daily News, Texas Monthly, Austin American-Statesman and many other regional and national outlets.
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Along with details of several existing or in-development programs to increase musician compensation from the city’s Music and Entertainment Division, attendees at Monday’s musician income summit at City Hall could grab a free copy of The Indie Band Survival Guide, a 2012 book that for a time last year looked like it was going to be the foundation of the city’s educational program for musicians looking to make more money. Such an educational component was an important piece of City Council’s Music and Creative Ecosystem Omnibus policy package, and authors Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan had developed an online learning platform that was something of an extension of the book. Former music division head Don Pitts was working toward establishing an agreement with the pair when he resigned from his post amid controversy around his handling of an employee disciplinary matter. That’s how the office came to be in possession of several dozen copies of the paperback, with Monday’s summit doubling as a chance to do some departmental closet cleaning, since the contract was never completed and Erica Shamaly, who was hired last summer as the music office’s new director, opted to pursue other options. She said Monday that an Austin-based nonprofit group is going through the procurement approval process to be the lead organization in charge of educating Austin musicians on how to grow the business side of their artistic output. That contract is likely to be completed this summer.
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