MUSIC INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE
(THE MIDI TRUST)
TOBACCO PRODUCTS CONTROL AMENDMENT ACT
19 October 1998
MIDI SUBMISSION ON THE TOBACCO SPONSORSHIP BILL
The Music Industry Development Initiative (The MIDI Trust) registered as a
Section 21 company not for gain was founded as a result of discussions between
Peter Stuyvesant and the Musicians Union of South Africa who were both
seeking means to develop South Africa's musical talent.
Since the foundation of the Trust in 1996, Peter Stuyvesant has been the sole financial sponsor. The monies provided have been utilised for:
· Salaries and consultant fees; and
The MIDI Trust's board of trustees has been carefully selected and comprises dedicated experts from various sectors of the industry.
The MIDI Trust was formed to address the indisputable need to improve the human resource skills and education levels amongst those individuals participating in, as well as those wishing to participate in the music industry, thereby laying the foundations for South Africa's future economic and cultural development.
In an attempt to meet these needs The MIDI Trust has undertaken a variety of projects reaching over 500 previously disadvantaged musicians, of these 65% were below the age of 25. Further MIDI's work has provided valuable business information and platforms for discussion to a vast amount of small business people, including sound, lighting and stage technicians, studio engineers, independent record company owners, record producers, artist's managers, booking agents, venue owners and promoters.
The MIDI Trust has played an important and indispensable role in facilitating
interaction within the industry and between the industry and Government, particularly the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology and the Department of Education.
Whilst, in this submission, it is impossible to cover all the activities that have been made possible by Peter Stuyvesant's funding we would like to share with you a few of the projects that we have undertaken in the last two years.
The Khutsong Music Information Centre is one of our most recent undertakings. This initiative provides basic infrastructure for a community-based information centre as well as access to training and exposure to the music industry. This project is an essential part of building music business skills amongst previously disadvantaged communities as well as providing the youth of Khutsong the opportunity to be exposed both to information and to a variety of career paths. In the four months that this project has been running already the youth from this area have been able to:
· Undertake a detailed informational tour of the SABC's broadcasting facilities;
· Attend workshops on songwriting skills; and
· Establish contact with the Carletonville Town Council to start holding cultural events in the town's theatre.
These initial processes have constituted a considerable empowerment for these young scholars both in terms of broadening their vision of the world and their skills with which they can engage the world.
The MIDI Trust co-ordinated business skills and musical workshops for musicians who played In the Two Nations in Concert that was hosted by President Nelson Mandela and the Prince of Wales. These workshops were run over a ten-day period during which time fifty young disadvantaged musicians from South Africa and the United Kingdom collaborated for musical performances, and exchanged cultural and social ideas. The MIDI Trust conducted similar workshops for participants in the Shell Road to Fame, allowing all participants to be informed on a wide range of music business matters. In both these instances the MIDI Trust has contributed to building the music business skills of young musicians. These processes are essential for ensuring that young musicians are multi-skilled and are empowered to protect their rights and interests in the music industry. Further such workshops provide the basis for building the knowledge base that is necessary to ensure the expansion of one of South Africa's great cultural and economic resources - the music industry.
The MIDI Trust also actively engages music education colleges with a view to strengthening the business skills components of their courses as well as to provide young scholars with knowledge, and therefore choice, of the multiplicity of careers that are available to them in the music industry. Later this year a series of workshops will be conducted at the Funda College of Education in Soweto. These workshops will educate music students about the business and legal components of the music industry.
In all these instances the MIDI Trust's work serves to empower, skill and give choices to the youth and musicians of our country. In some instances Peter Stuyvesant has been promoted, but on no occasion has Peter Stuyvesant asked for their product or brand to be promoted in workshops for the youth, Without their support this valuable grassroots work may have to come to an end.
The MIDI Trust also functions as a valuable source of information for the music industry. In the last year we have co-published a directory of contact names, addresses and details in the music industry. Over 2000 of these directories have been distributed, often without charge, to a wide variety of stakeholders in the music industry including government departments, musicians, composers, record companies, broadcasters, community organisations and music colleges. In addition The MIDI Trust has been able to provide information, on an on-going basis to:
· The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology;
· The Department of Education;
· Various foreign embassies;
· The Musicians Union of South Africa; and
· Approximately 20 musicians and community-based cultural workers per week.
MIDI Trust's very existence is dependent upon assistance from our sponsor. A strong likelihood exists that Peter Stuyvesant may be obliged to withdraw the sponsorship if proposed legislation is carried. Accordingly, MIDI Trust's existence would appear to be dependent upon the proposed legislation.