Metro Council to debate how to capitalize on Nashville's entertainment industry

Posted at 10:01 PM, Jan 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-03 06:22:34-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the entertainment industry continues to grow in Nashville, Metro Council members are set to discuss how to best capitalize on the situation.

It's a debate that has been going on for months. The latest chapter could unfold at Tuesday's Metro Council meeting. Two separate pieces of legislation dealing with the issue are expected to go before council members.

The first bill is sponsored by Council Member Robert Swope. It would create the Nashville Film and Television Advisory Board. That board would be made up of nine industry professionals who would handle state incentives and benefits specifically for the film and television industries. The board would also work closely with the Tennessee Entertainment Commission to establish and maintain tax incentives and recruit, promote and develop entertainment projects in Davidson County.

Board members would also work to promote gender and racial equity throughout the film and television industry, establish opportunities throughout all neighborhoods in Nashville and increase awareness at high schools in Metro Nashville of potential careers in the film and television Industry.

"We need a far more focused approach," said Swope in a statement. "Otherwise, it will fail yet again just like the last seven film offices have over the last 30 years."

The second bill is sponsored by Council Member Joy Styles. It would establish the Nashville Entertainment Creation Commission. It will help promote all aspects of the entertainment industry — including film, television, music videos and virtual reality. The commission would consist of 19 members who would have experience in the industry. The group would also work to develop and promote entertainment opportunities in Nashville while promoting diversity and inclusion and supporting artists who make the projects happen. The commission would also support the Nashville Office of Music, Film and Entertainment which was announced in April by Mayor John Cooper.

Styles said similar offices already exist in Chattanooga, Memphis and Knoxville.

"What we need is a body that can support everyone," said Styles. "Because what we’ve done in the past has failed to support people unilaterally. We focus on music, and everyone else was cast aside."

While council members may disagree on the approach, they agree promoting entertainment opportunities in Nashville can bring in additional jobs and money to the city.

Both bills are expected to come up for the second of three votes needed for approval. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.