Huntsville, Ala. boasts terrific talent and music heritage, but is not as well-known as its neighboring cities for the craft. As a mid-level market between Atlanta, Nashville, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala., Huntsville’s music economy has historically been overlooked, and many investors have been skeptical that the midsized city could sustain large-scale investments in music infrastructure, like outdoor amphitheaters or large, mixed-use venues.  

In April 2018, the City Council set out to change this misconception by launching a creative placemaking process called a “music audit” to help Huntsville become Alabama’s first “music city.” The city accomplished this feat through a four-year equity and economic development strategy, offering lessons for other markets interested in adopting this creative placemaking pursuit.   

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Image Credit: Josh Weichman