Today our interview series with TMW 2020 Conference panellists features Maxie Gedge, the Project Manager of Keychange.
Maxie joined the UK’s leading funder of new music and talent development PRS Foundation in 2016. She is responsible for delivering the communications strategy including work to champion a diverse range of music creators and make all PRS Foundation opportunities as accessible as possible. After working closely on Women Make Music and a pioneering initiative Keychange which is empowering women to transform the future of the music industry, she was appointed Keychange Project Manager. Maxie is also one of the Arts & Creativity mentors of The Global Hack kicking off April 9th and will mentor teams who tackle the challenge submitted by Keychange: how can we support underrepresented voices in music during the pandemic to sustain progress towards equality in music by 2022? #CreativeImpact #tmw2020#keychange #TheGlobalHack #creativity”
How has the situation affected you / your organization?
I am very lucky that I am able to work for PRS Foundation and Keychange from home, in self isolation but with company (my wife!) I’m trying to stay positive by exercising, reading, and listening to as much new music as possible.
Keychange is a global project that already relies on remote working and bringing people together from different countries, so our amazing community of participants, partners (including Tallinn Music Week), signatories and ambassadors are responding with openness and innovation. We’re so happy that (at the moment) all of the 13 planned Keychange festivals will still go ahead in 2020 and we’re arranging weekly online activity for the participants in the meantime.
At PRS Foundation we help music creators get to sustainable career positions with funding and support – to tour, make new work, showcase internationally, record, and release – anything involving the performance, creation or promotion of new music. So while our internal deadlines and opportunities are relatively unaffected, the needs and careers of music creators have shifted drastically and often catastrophically. We’re doing everything we can to respond to that, and we’re working with our partners to provide extra support. Just this week we’ve launched a new fund with Spotify’s Music Relief campaign, which focuses on supporting songwriters to create and develop new music, and the Emergency Relief Fund with our main donor PRS for Music, which offers quick support for members with immediate financial need.
What is your biggest concern and your highest hope?
My biggest concern in our industry is all of the artists, self-employed creatives, freelancers and independent organisations whose income has been seriously impacted. The music industry is made up of so many inspiring and brilliant individuals that deserve a safe and supportive infrastructure. Their impact on our communities cannot be underestimated. I want them to continue to be seen and empowered, and feel seen and empowered. Of course my highest hope is that the music industry can work with governments worldwide to make this happen.
What is the role of music, arts and culture in the future? what will change?
This pandemic has very quickly forced us to rethink our sense of community and our access to shared experiences through music, art and culture. Live music and live inspiration is irreplaceable in the music industry (and the arts) so I hope in the future there is more value and more emphasis placed on these moments and what they mean in our lives. I think music, arts and culture will be more and more entwined with tech and innovation which I hope provides more stability to the industry. But most of all, I am sure that more than ever, in these strange and uncertain times, the arts is going to be an essential way for us all to try to understand the world, ourselves and each other.
What is your dream scenario for future as a result of this?
Reduced travel for all but creative and cultural exchange. Fair renumeration and security for creators (and more value placed on works). More engagement ‘in the moment’. Regular scrutinisation of systems and structures. More money and time spent on building networks and communities.