On Friday, November 22nd, the City of Seattle’s Office of Film + Music (OFM) hosted a Film and Music Industry Public Meeting and Update. Over 100 industry professionals and stakeholders gathered at the Centilia Cultural Center in El Centro de la Raza to discuss concerns and answer questions about proposed changes to OFM.
Answering your questions: What has happened, what is happening, and why
The Film and Music Industry Public Meeting and Update intended to provide clarity and answer questions to OFM’s future as the City is prioritizing creatives and creative industries through an inclusive creative economy program.
Prior to the development of the development of the inclusive creative economy program, OFM, the Office of Economic Development (OED), and the Office of Arts and Culture (ARTS) consulted the Seattle Art and Music Commissions, met with over 80 special events industry stakeholders, and met with over 70 film stakeholders representing unions, crews, producers, companies, educators, non-profits, and location managers, which resulted in rigorous reports on priorities and recommendations for the City’s support of the industry. The summary of film recommendations draft was reviewed by film stakeholders. including union representatives, before it was finalized and delivered to the City. These recommendations have and will continue to inform OFM vision and decisions for the future.
Following this industry and stakeholder outreach, some film and music industry professionals expressed concerns about the proposals for OFM’s future. Most particularly, the City heard concerns that OFM would be dissolved and replaced by the Inclusive Creative Industries Program, or that it would be absorbed into ARTS, or that the transition would eliminate OFM’s prioritization of economic development in its work.
Is the Office of Film + Music Going Away?
No. OFM has always been part of OED, and will continue be part of OED. OFM will continue programs and initiatives supporting the growth of the film, music, nightlife, and special events industries. Under the Mayor’s charge, OFM will lead the OED’s new Inclusive Creative Industries Program.
The OFM Director role will be redefined as the Creative Industry Director, to call out the work the position has and will continue to oversee. This position will undergo a nationwide search and hiring process in collaboration with film and music labor and industry professionals involvement.
Staff capacity will increase. The Film + Special Events Manager, who oversees policy and permit coordination for both film and special events, will become two dedicated roles: Film Manager and Special Events Manager. A Creative Industries Policy Advisor will also be created to support the initiative and policy work supporting the film, music, events, and nightlife industries. Also, a dedicated Film Permitting support staff will be added during the peak filming season. OED communications staff will now be dedicated to support OFM, and 10% of the entire OED staff will support film and music by launching new efforts that will include OED’s Key Industries, Small Business, Business Districts, and Workforce teams.
Thank you for your input and collaboration
Thank you everyone in the film, music, events, and nightlife industries. Thank you everyone who were able to take the time to attend the November 22 meeting, participate in this summer’s roundtables and conversations, and to communicate with OFM as individuals or groups. OFM’s work must support and be guided by you and your industry. We will continue to work, and continue our work, with you collaboratively. The next months will provide many exciting opportunities for direct and public collaboration. We are looking forward to working with and for you as we explore all of these new opportunities.
Next Steps and How to Get Involved
OFM wants your input. For those who are interested in shaping OFM and the Inclusive Creative Industry Program, there are some exciting opportunities to get involved:
- The Mixer, a free, all-ages, open to the public meet-up for leaders in the film, music, and interactive industries to share, learn, and make meaningful business connections.=
- Film Industry: Join the Film Task Force to help shape OFM’s work to support and grow Seattle’s film industry. A public application process to join the Film Task Force will be announced soon, and the Film Task Force is slated to start in January 2020.
- Stay in touch with OFM on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or shoot us an email at email@example.com and we’ll give you updates in 2020 and beyond.