Chattanooga Music Census Results Highlight Growth Opportunities

  • Wednesday, March 22, 2023
photo by Chattanooga Tourism Co.

The Chattanooga Tourism Co., in partnership with the City of Chattanooga and ArtsBuild, is sharing the results of the 2022 Chattanooga Music Census.

Officials said, "Key takeaways revealed local music creatives need more pathways to sustainability, industry service providers are largely undiscovered, music venues need additional resources and support and fragmentation within the community is limiting Chattanooga’s music ecosystem."

"As Mayor and a longtime musician myself, I'm passionate about making the fabric of our local music culture stronger. Now, thanks to these results, we have a deep understanding of how to best make that happen," said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. "Over the next several months, we'll be working with the community to turn this data into actions that will grow the breadth and depth of our local music scene in the years to come.”

“The way our music community came together to share insights and have a hand in directing the future of Chattanooga’s music industry shows how critical the music sector is to our community as a whole. We are grateful for and encouraged by the feedback we received.” says Barry White, Chattanooga Tourism Co. president and CEO. “This dataset is a powerful tool that will guide us and our partners as we work alongside our local music community.”

"Moving forward, the leading organizations will work collaboratively with music partners to create a framework for the upcoming years and implement initiatives to address growth areas. Initiatives include focused engagement sessions, grant workshops for organizations and individuals, and engagement events for collaboration. Sound Music Cities will continue to advise and support community efforts," officials said.

The Census, administered by Sound Music Cities, is a community-led initiative to gain a better understanding of the current needs of Chattanooga’s music community. It is led by the Chattanooga Tourism Co., ArtsBuild, the City of Chattanooga and over 40 local partners, through a grant from the Lyndhurst Foundation. The census launched to the public on Oct. 7, ran for five weeks before closing on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022.

Officials said, "The goal of the Census was to capture information about the local music economy through 1,000 surveys answered by community members. Due to the dedication and collaboration of the Chattanooga Music Census partners, that goal was exceeded, with 1,407 surveys answered."

“Chattanooga is an eager music city as evidenced by the strong participation in the 2022 Music Census -- the highest participation rate by population in Sound Music Cities’ history,” said Don Pitts, Sound Music Cities founder. “While the Census and Summary Report are just the beginning, they provide a strong foundation to strategically strengthen and build the Chattanooga music ecosystem.”

A summary report has been prepared by Sound Music Cities and includes key findings and recommendations to guide immediate and longer-term strategies for Chattanooga’s music community and partners. To view the full report and find more information, visit

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