Music for All, an Indianapolis-based music-education not-for-profit with nationwide reach, announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement with the city to keep its headquarters, staff and events in Indianapolis through 2023.
The 11-year extension to an existing agreement with the city will generate an additional estimated $225 million in economic impact and attract more than 600,000 visitors to Indianapolis, according to city and Visit Indy officials. The organization, which has 24 employees, moved from Chicago to Indianapolis in 2003. It is housed in Union Station.
Music for All's biggest annual event is the Bands of America Grand National Championships, which draws 39,000 visitors to the city each November, according to Visit Indy, the city’s tourism marketing arm.
Other events include the Music for All National Festival in March with an attendance of 3,000 and the Bands of America Super Regional Championships in October, which draws about 11,000.
Indianapolis outbid Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and St. Louis to retain Music for All’s headquarters and events, city officials said. As part of the deal to stay in town, the group will get free rent for its Union Station headquarters for the first two years of the 11-year deal, with its rent escalating over the last nine years of the deal.
Also, Music for All will get discounted rental rates for use of Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center to host its events, according to Visit Indy officials.
“Our board and key stakeholders agreed that keeping Music for All and its events in Indianapolis would help foster our continued growth and benefit our mission of providing positively life-changing experiences through the arts,” Music for All CEO Eric Martin said in a prepared statement.
Music for All is part of a larger Visit Indy strategic initiative, MusicCrossroads, a coalition led by civic volunteer leaders from the Lacy Leadership Association. Since its inception in 2007, the program has lured organizations and events to Indianapolis that have generated more than $490 million in economic impact and brought in more than 2.3 million visitors, according to Visit Indy spokesman Chris Gahl.
Other Indianapolis-based arts and cultural institutions that are part of MusicCrossroads include the Percussive Arts Society; Drum Corps International; International Violin Competition of Indianapolis; the American Pianist Association; and Heartland Truly Moving Pictures.
Music for All was previously known as Bands of America and built a reputation for organizing a series of regional marching band competitions culminating in a national event in Indianapolis each November.
In 2006, the organization broadened its scope through a merger with an East Coast advocacy group that promoted the importance of music education programs in schools.
Music for All’s mission is to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all, Martin said.
Music for All provides national and regional music education programs, offers music educator training and professional development, and provides resources to participants to assist in their education and music-making endeavors.
“The City of Indianapolis will benefit from the economic impact attributed to Music for All’s commitment, but also the impact of future leaders coming to Indianapolis annually for events,” Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said in a prepared statement. “Students having a positive experience in Indianapolis during one of Music for All’s signature events will encourage them to return to Indianapolis to attend college, enter the work force, or visit again with family and friends.”