A program to grow local talent on the business side of New Orleans’ music industry is the latest recipient of an award from Louisiana’s Entertainment Development Fund. Greater New Orleans Inc. will receive $100,000 a year for two years to start its Music Industry Career Development University Partnership, or MIC’D UP.
The program is designed to create music-focused on-the-job training opportunities that will provide support for music businesses to develop local talent. Although the initial focus is on the music industry, MIC’D UP’s long-term goal is to prepare participating businesses to help local artists develop opportunities in film, television, commercials, video gaming and other entertainment industry platforms.
“New Orleans is synonymous with music,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc. “Unfortunately, for too long we have failed to translate this musical identity into jobs for our residents. The MIC’D UP internship program is part of our effort to change that, by training Greater New Orleans and Louisiana citizens for well-paying jobs in the music industry.”
GNO Inc., the regional economic development organization serving Louisiana’s Southeast Region, will establish partnerships and facilitate roundtables among music industry sector companies and higher education institutions in the region to build workshops and curriculum topics for job trainees. The organization also will be responsible for recruiting college students into the program during their senior year of studies.
“Louisiana has done much to make music one of the most popular American art forms, but music is also a business,” Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson said. “This new program will enhance Louisiana’s entertainment sector by developing a local workforce for artist management companies in our state. With the help of our latest Entertainment Development Fund award, GNO Inc. will team up with music industry allies as well as colleges and universities in the New Orleans area to implement this innovative and rewarding program.”
MidCitizen Entertainment is among the local companies set to participate. The local artist management firm plans to host an intern through the MIC’D UP apprenticeship program.
“Everyone always talks about reinvesting in the New Orleans music industry but one of the reasons we founded MidCitizen was to show action and lead by example,” said Tavia Osbey, a managing partner at the company. “This partnership with GNO Inc. is another opportunity to put an idea into practice and start seeing what produces results for our city. MidCitizen is dedicated to being a valued participant in the New Orleans music ecosystem and we think this program has a chance to produce self-sustaining results for years to come – results that are inclusive to aspiring music industry professionals from all backgrounds.”
Since the Entertainment Development Fund was launched in March 2021, financial awards have been made to eight education and workforce training programs in Louisiana’s Northwest, Capital, Bayou and Southeast regions. Participants to date include public and private universities, community colleges, middle schools and high schools, and arts-related nonprofits. Several of the programs have already shown successful placement of students into well-paying jobs in the motion picture industry in Louisiana.