Quantifying “Alaska’s rich music ecosystem” is the goal of the Alaska Music Census, a statewide survey seeking to count the number of Alaskans making or supporting music, and organizers are looking to see responses from the Kenai Peninsula.
According to a press release from the Alaska Independent Musicians Initiative, who are organizing the project, the survey takes around 5-15 minutes to complete, and responses are sought by anyone who plays, writes, teaches, records or otherwise is connected to the state’s music scene.
“That includes all ages, all skill levels, all styles and genres, professionals and amateurs alike,” the release reads.
A business focused survey is also part of the effort, targeting technicians, retailers, venues, festivals, bookers and promoters.
“We need to know who’s out there, and we need to tell the story of how hard they’re working,” said program director Marian Call in the release. “We have exceptional musicians here, incredible festivals, wonderful teachers and instrument makers, brilliant bands and solo artists and ensembles. But our labor is practically invisible to economists and decisionmakers. We want that to change.”
The release says that “music’s economic footprint” is difficult to quantify because there’s rarely traditional tax data to draw upon. The initiative will use the results of the census to paint a clearer picture, to engage with the government and with other state industries, and to “document the effects of COVID-19 related venue closures and other impacts.”
In an email to the Clarion, Call wrote that music has a significant impact on the Kenai Peninsula and many of its summertime events — like the Kenai Peninsula Fair, Salmonfest, the Soldotna Music Series and the Seldovia Summer Music Festival.
“I would love to see the many people who make those events possible represented in this survey,” she wrote.
The survey is anonymous, and will be open until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2.
“If you sing in your community choir, if you play open mics, if you tour with a band, if you compose for the symphony, if you make beats in your bedroom or film music videos with your friends, if you play fiddle around the campfire — we want to hear from you. The folks you play with, too. We want to shout proudly about what you’re doing,” Call wrote. “Every voice counts.”
To take the survey, visit AlaskaMusicCensus.com. For more information about the Alaska Independent Musicians Initiative, visit akimimusic.org.
Reach reporter Jake Dye at email@example.com.