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CASH Music supports musicians with open source technology & events

CASH Music dog iconLately I’ve been thinking about the important relationship between independent musicians and independent radio. This was sparked by attending TechFest NW in September–an adjunct to MusicFest NW–where I also learned about CASH Music, a Portland-based non-profit building open source tools to help musicians connect with their audiences, online and off.

Co-executive director Jesse Von Doom said that the organization’s goal is to make sure that musicians “have a platform they can innovate on top of.” CASH Music is open because closed platforms, like Facebook, “change the rules all the time.” By contrast, open platforms mean “stability, control and ownership” for the creator.

CASH Music hosted two summits in Portland in August and September where they brought together musicians and technologists to bring about “understanding and mutual respect,” along with discussing how an open web can serve musicians and fans. At TechFest Von Doom shared some of the insights shared at these summits.

One in particular, from musician Rebecca Gates, really resonated with me. According to Von Doom, Gates said the idea of DIY–do it yourself–can also be isolating, and make you feel alone in the world. So it’s important for technology to get people to work together. That’s a role I think radio plays, and can do even better, which is why this caught my attention.

Thanks to Hypebot I learned that CASH is expanding their events, rather quickly, I might add. The next CASH Music Summit will be November 16 in Los Angeles. It will feature a number of conversations between musicians and tech folks, such as one between veteran punk musician Mike Watt and Mozilla chief of staff Pascal Finette. Bratmobile singer and Ladyfest founder Allison Wolfe will be in another conversation with Tatiana Simonian, VP of music at Nielsen Entertainment.

CASH is looking to expand the summits to four cities in 2014: Chicago, New York, Seattle and Atlanta. It’s opened a Kickstarter to raise the $50,000 it needs, by December 2. This follows the organization’s first successful Kickstarter in 2012 which helped launch its platform of free online tools for musicians.

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