Songwriting Contests at the Library?

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The Illinois State Library awards $5000 grant to bring the business of music into public libraries.

Q. What do TLC, Sam & Dave, & Frankie Lymon have in common? A. Bad contracts, stolen royalties, deceptive practices. The music industry is constantly changing and more than ever, emerging artists and songwriters must be equipped with business basics to be successful. The Libraries, Literacy, & Lyrics project was created to empower musicians with the basic skills needed for careers in music and to create awareness of the resources within libraries for lifelong utilization. The grant initiative, secured by Library Director and Recording Artist Tracy Worth for the Steger-South Chicago Heights Public Library District, includes a songwriting contest and workshops facilitated by music professionals who support the value of libraries. All events are free.

Library Songwriting Contest/Showcase:
The contest series will give songwriters an opportunity to share original compositions among professionals and peers. The first 10 people to register (per event) will be invited to submit an original song to showcase. At each Spotlight Showcase, music professionals will critique and select the best composition for the final event on July 19th. Participants can only showcase one selection, 3-4 minutes in length. Any genre is acceptable, but no profanity or lewd language will be allowed. Those interested in showcasing should contact a participating library to registration. Grant monitors reserve the right to select or deny any submission. Prizes include studio time, photo shoot and other fantastic tools for emerging songwriters. For more information, please call 708-798-5563 or visit

Showcase Locations:
Nancy L. McConathy Public Library, Saturday, June 21, 2:00pm, Tel. 708-757-4771
Steger-South Chicago Heights Public Library, Monday, June 23, 6:30p.m., Tel. 708-755-5041
University Park Public Library, Tuesday, July 1, 6:30p.m., Tel. 708-534-2580
Grande Prairie Public Library, Friday, July 11, 6:30p.m., Tel. 708-798-5563

Making Money & Making Music:
Grande Prairie Library, Saturday, June 28, 1:00-4:00pm, 3479 W. 183rd Street, Hazel Crest, IL
Part one will focus on songwriting, production, recording, publishing, and music licensing. The session will be facilitated by Felton Offard, Producer & Music Professor, Mark Taylor, Producer, Michael Weatherspoon, Spoonfed Productions, Mark Thame, Engineer, CleVon Brown, APMG Music, and Charlie Chaney, creator of the Indie Database Manager. Refreshments will be served.

Making Music & Moving Forward:
Prairie State College, Saturday, July 19, 1:00-4:00pm, 202 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL.
Part two will focus on the technological shifts within the music industry, avenues for income, and how to create and stay abreast of the changes. This workshop will be facilitated by Bryant Scott, President of Tyscot Records, Stan Jones, Producer/Songwriter, Stantastic Entertainment, Thomas Cain, Songwriter and Senior Director of Writer/Publisher Relations for BMI, Donna Harris, NARAS , Tawanda Shamley, Radio Promoter, Reginald Miles, Radio Host, and Professor of Media Communications, Howard University, and Daniel Weatherspoon, Producer/Musician, SpoonFed Productions, and representatives from ASCAP and SESAC.

Grant funding for Libraries, Literacy, and Lyrics was awarded by the Illinois State Library, a Division of the Office of Secretary of State, using funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), under the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).


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