All sessions take place in the Patty and Fred Turner Jazz Center and Fine Arts Center building on Drake’s campus. More information on session locations, parking, and more available here.
DMMC Presents: Music University
Sunday, October 23
10:30 – 11:00 Networking
Enjoy free coffee compliments of Mars Café and connect with others before the official kickoff of Music University!
Location: Turner Jazz Center
11:00 – 11:45 Session 1: Welcome and Updates from DMMC
Featuring: Mickey Davis, DMMC
Join us as we kick off the first Music University in five years with an update from the Des Moines Music Coalition. Learn about DMMC’s current work, upcoming events, and more, and join us as we unveil the results of a year-long study of the Des Moines Music Ecosystem.
Location: Turner Jazz Center
11:45 – 1:15 Open Campus & Networking
Connect with fellow musicians and industry members, and learn more about existing resources by stopping by the booths in Turner Jazz Center. In addition, sign up for a 1:1 consultation in marketing, contract review, and other topics, and get a free professional headshot courtesy of Alyssa Leicht. Check out a local business in the Dogtown neighborhood for lunch.
1:15 – 2:00 Session 2: Breakouts
Breakout A: Music Industry Careers and Side Hustles Roundtable
Join us for an informative and interactive round table discussion with local music industry professionals to discuss how to have longevity in music careers, establishing your fit and passions, and finding music based side hustles, and more. Panelist range from venue professionals, to technical/audio experts, to event organizers and hospitality.
Breakout B: Band Management 101
Panelists: Jeff McClusky, McClusky and Associates; Jeff Kane, NOLA Jazz Band
This panel will focus on the role of a band manager: what a manager does and does not do, how to best work with a manager, and who may be best suited to manage a band. This session is for bands looking for managers, self-managed bands, and aspiring band managers.
Breakout C: Pitching your music for film and television
Panelists: James Combs, Laurel Canon; Bryan Vanderpool, The Well Pennies
Sync licensing – that is, licensing your music for film, television, advertisements, and more – can be a great revenue stream for musicians, but the industry can be difficult to navigate. In this workshop we will discuss how the sync process works, how to build relationships in sync, and what you need to know when writing and recording if you are looking for placements.
2:15 – 3:00 Session 3: Breakouts
Breakout A: Building a Career as an Independent Artist with Open Mike Eagle
Panelists: Open Mike Eagle; Marc Hogan, Pitchfork (moderator)
A decade plus of defining the “art rap” genre, a podcast network designed for the serious music heads, a Comedy Central television series, his own record label – few musicians working today can match the breadth of output coming from Open Mike Eagle. Currently, Mike is on tour with Dessa, just released a new album on his own Auto Reverse Records, and runs a 300-member strong Patreon, embodying the reality of many independent artists in 2022: what, from the outside, looks like a music career is actually many different smaller careers and hustles making up the whole.
In 2018, Open Mike Eagle sat down with Pitchfork for an article on the economics of being an indie rapper. In this session, we will revisit the conversation with Pitchfork senior staff writer Marc Hogan to discuss how things have changed since 2018 – what’s still working, how independent artists like Mike responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, and what he’s currently working on. Audience questions welcome!
Breakout B: Plug in to Iowa Public Radio
Panelists: Al Schares, IPR Music Program Director; Phil Maass, IPR Studio One Technical Producer; Lindsey Moon, IPR All Access Executive Producer and Senior Digital Producer
There’s a music renaissance afoot in Iowa, and Iowa’s public, non-commercial radio service is here to support your art! Come visit with IPR Studio One and IPR’s All Access about how we can help promote your music and share your art with the state. During this panel, we’ll talk about what we do, and will explain more about our live concert series, our 80/35 stage, and our Artist of the Month series.
Breakout C: Copyright, publishing, and royalties explained
Panelists: John Gilbertson, Zarley Law; Tobi Parks, xBk/Sony
This session will cover the why and how of music ownership, from copyrighting your song to deciding ownership between multiple writers or performers on a track. Hear from John Gilbertson, Zarley Law, and Tobi Parks, xBk/Sony, on what you can do to set yourself and your band up for success.
3:15 – 4:00 Session 4: Keynote by Dessa
Singer, rapper, and writer Dessa has made a career of bucking genres and defying expectations—her résumé as a musician includes performances at Lollapalooza and Glastonbury, co-compositions for 100-voice choir, performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, and top-200 entries on the Billboard charts. She contributed to the #1 album The Hamilton Mixtape and the RBG documentary; her track, “Congratulations,” has notched over 20 million streams.
As a writer, she’s been published by The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler, broadcast by Minnesota Public Radio, and published a memoir-in-essays (My Own Devices, 2018) in addition to two literary collections. As a speaker, Dessa has delivered keynote speeches and presentations on art, science, and entrepreneurship; guest lectures at universities and colleges across the US; and a TED Talk about her science experiment on how to fall out of love. She’s also the host of Deeply Human, a podcast created by the BBC and American Public Media. On the stage and on the page, Dessa’s style is defined by ferocity, wit, tenderness, and candor.
4:15 – 5:00 Session 5: Iowa Music Venue & Promoter Roundtable
Panelists: Sean Moeller, Raccoon Motel; Tobi Parks, xBk; Zeke Whetstone, First Fleet Concerts. Moderated by Lily DeTaeye, Little Village Magazine
This panel will bring together some of the most prominent venues and talent buyers in Iowa to discuss how bands and venues can best work together: getting booking, how to be considered for opening slots, marketing responsibilities between a venue and a band, and more.
5:00 – 6:30 Dinner
On your own – check out what’s happening in the Dogtown neighborhood!