Denison declared music-friendly by Governor's office

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Sawyer Guymon entertains a crowd of concert goers during the 2019 Music on Main concert series. The city of Denison was declared a music-friendly community by Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday morning.

Denison joined a short list of cities that have been declared "music-friendly" communities by the Texas Governor's Office and the Texas Music Office.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that Denison has become the 19th city in the state to gain the recognition for its thriving music community and industry. The designation will help give Denison the tools and connections it needs to help support and meet the needs of this industry.

,Music Friendly Communities certified by the Texas Music Office are serious about attracting and developing local music industry growth, and I am proud of all that the Texas Music Office has accomplished in helping communities like Denison grow their local economy," Abbott said in a press release issued Tuesday. 

The designation has been a focus of city officials in recent months as they took the steps needed to join the program. This included a workshop with state officials that was held in late November. Other steps included setting up a board to represent the needs of musicians, venues, recording studios and other aspects of the industry locally.

"Really in a nutshell, what this program does is it gives the cities a framework to help engage their music community," said Chip Adams, community relations & outreach specialist for the Texas Music Office. "To start, it gives them a platform with which to gather together and communicate."

Beyond the local connections, the designation also helps build relationships with the other cities that are within the program.

With the designation, Denison joins the 18 other cities, including Fort Worth, Denton, McKinney and Austin, that had previously received the recognition. across the state that have received the designation. Cities that are currently working through the certification process include: Houston, Dallas, Dripping Springs, Brenham, and El Paso. 

Earlier this month, Denison officials said they hope that these tools and connections will help many of the city's  music-related businesses in what has been a difficult year. The designation could bring a wider focus on Denison and its music scene statewide, officials said.

"Our music venues are suffering during COVID, because many of them are bars, dance halls and even restaurants that have had to scale back. We want to do what we can to help them," Main Street Director Donna Dow said.

The state music industry could also prove a boon to the economy through the recovery from the economic effects of COVID-19, Gov. Abbott said. This year alone, the industry directly and indirectly created more than 209,000 jobs with an economic impact of $23.4 billion in activity.

“As our economy rebounds from the COVID downturn, Texas is committed to working alongside our communities to ensure they have the tools needed to succeed," Abbott said.

The TMO will hold a  virtual certification ceremony with the city Tuesday night at 6 p.m.