Three local music entities — the Portland Music Foundation, Josh Loring and SPACE Gallery, and the DaPonte String Quartet — are reaping the benefits of a major national lawsuit against big-name music institutions like Sony, Capitol Records, Tower Records, and BMG.
Between 2003 and 2007, 40 states (of which Maine was one) settled with the record companies to resolve allegations of CD price fixing on the part of retailers and distributors. As a result, the states received millions of CDs to distribute for free to libraries and schools, a $13 rebate for each of 3.5 million consumers, and funds to be distributed according to the “cy pres” legal doctrine, which requires that the recipients reflect the original intent of the lawsuit — in this case, to bring both art and money to the people who enjoy it and the people who create it.
Maine’s cy pres funds — $23,000 — went to the Maine Arts Commission, which in turn will bestow it upon three grantees. Attorney General (and 2010 gubernatorial candidate) Steve Rowe was at Gateway Mastering on Monday morning to rub elbows with musicians and hand out the dough. Here’s where it’s headed:
The Portland Music Foundation will use its $6824 to fund a series of educational seminars aimed at professionalizing Portland’s music scene. This fall’s first such event will take place on October 8, when four “veteran music industry members” will tell an audience about “the best decision I ever made.” The participants — Lance Vardis of CSP Mobile recording; Taylor Mesple of Lewiston’s Maple Room and the Maine Songwriters Association; Chris Brown of Bull Moose Music; and Darren Elder, a musician and the owner of Halo recording studio — will share their career lessons at One Longfellow Square at 6:30 pm.
Local musician and SPACE “artist-in-residence” Josh Loring (Brenda, Cult Maze) will get $7500 to create a “multi-format audio-visual document” about Portland’s rockers. It’ll be a book, a blog, and an audio compilation about local acts including Metal Feathers, An Evening With, Honey Clouds, the Rattlesnakes, Vince Nez, Cursillistas, Gully, Huak, Moneycastasia, and Turn Down Day (formerly Modern Syndrome).
The DaPonte String Quartet, based in Damariscotta, already used its $6000 grant to put on a late-August Acadia National Park benefit performance at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.