‘We’re trying to build that culture here’: Program works to support Iowa’s growing music industry

‘We’re trying to build that culture here’: Program works to support Iowa’s growing music industry
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 6:02 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Cedar Rapids native Jake Stack has been making music for the last seven years. For him, the interest started at a young age.

“My dad, he also played guitar and wrote songs and played in different bands,” Stack said. “As soon as I was old enough to kind of hold instruments, he’d have them in my hands and encourage me.”

Stack says he’s played in a number of bands — and now works as a solo artist. He also works two other jobs to pursue music.

“I basically put all my money into recording new music and getting out and playing it. To have someone go like ‘Hey, we’re gonna support you to make a record both financially and creatively’ it was like, ‘Great!’ Stack said. “It’s sort of the Forest Gump thing when he finds out he invested in Apple.”

Earlier this year, Stack was selected to work with Brucemore’s Artisan Studio — a program designed to support up-and-coming artists of all kinds.

It allowed him to work on his latest album this summer. On Tuesday night, he sang it to a live audience.

Stack says none of it would be possible without the Artisan Studio.

“The financial support alone is tremendous,” Stack said. “To go into a studio and not be watching the clock is a freedom that not many people ever get to anymore.”

Lincoln Ginsberg is a part of the Artisan Studio and GMix East — a company focused on artist development and helping underserved artists.

He says while Iowa’s music industry is still young...

“There are not a lot of resources to support artists period in a place like Iowa,” Ginsburg said. “It’s a very uphill battle to get any kind of funding or any kind of legitimate opportunities, and specifically professional opportunities.”

But he says it’s growing.

“Instead of going to a town that already has the culture that we’re looking for,” Ginsburg said. “We’re trying to build that culture here.”

Something Stack is hoping to do — one song at a time.

“I just enjoy playing music, so I don’t have my hope set on a specific benchmark of like success or fame or anything like that,” Stack said.

Ginsburg says he hopes Brucemore’s Artisan Studio inspires other organizations to support artists in new ways.