Next spring, CCM Magazine and Indieheaven.com will be presenting the second annual CIA (Christian Indie Artists) Summit. The event will be held in Franklin, Tenn. (just south of Nashville) March 17-20 and is open to artists of any musical genre.
The CIA Summit is an event specifically tailored to educate independent Christian artists and provide a balanced representation of the paths available to them. It is designed to bring pertinent information to artists at every level of their career; whether they are pursuing the record industry, or desiring to remain independent, the summit will help them to understand the challenges they face as well as acquire the tools they need to succeed. Industry leaders will be on hand to cover a variety of topics including self-management and promotion, legal aspects of the music industry, developing your testimony, marketing and distribution, and more. Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to meet and hear from successful independent artists who are seeing real action in their music careers.
Unlike most Christian music conferences, CIA Summit does not have competitions. According to Keith Mohr, founder of IndieHeaven.com, the conference is more concerned with bringing artists together in a spirit of camaraderie and unity.
"Arent there enough contests out there already?" asks Mohr. "We dont care for American Idol type contests or Battle of the Christians events. Theres a totally different vibe when competition is removed from a conference."
Instead, the four-day conference includes a Feedback Performance Time, allowing artists to perform not only in front of industry professionals, but in front of a panel of their peers. Instead of the typical artist competition, CIA Summit provides an opportunity for direct and honest feedback to improve their music and ministry.
"I believe competition brings out the worst in artists, as their pride often takes a front seat to humility," says Mohr. "I know why they compete. They want to know if they have what it takes, whatever it is these days. Its based on a system that rewards outward appearance and commercial marketability, and I do not believe that is how an independent Christian artist should start their ministry path."
"Many compete because they want to be discovered. They want to skip steps on the path to whatever they believe success is. Our goal is to renew the artistic mind and teach them that the path to validity and affirmation does not come from commercial success, but from fulfilling their mission by doing the will of God in their lives. If commercial success comes their way, thats great, but lets not start the journey on that path. Lets start the journey by being obedient to the call, which is to reach people with the great news of Christ."
Due to overwhelming response, an additional day has been added to this years event. Mohr will present a special Master Class on how to use the tools available at Indieheaven.com. Dawn Jones of The Booking Workshop will also be on hand to present a special two hour class on concert booking and marketing a music ministry.
IndieHeaven.com launched under the name BrokenRecords.com in 1997 with just four artists that founder Keith Mohr had produced at his Pennsylvania studio. They survived the dot-com era when other indie music sites launched with tremendous financial backing but disappeared quickly. In 2002, Broken Records evolved into IndieHeaven, which better reflected their core mission. In just two years, IndieHeaven has more than 300 active members (known as the alliance) and remains truly independent.
The CIA Summit, which held its inaugural event in March of 2004, was formed out of Mohrs desire to bring together independents and give them an opportunity to learn, connect, encourage and affirm one another. Over 250 Indieheaven members attended the first summit, and early registration for the 2nd annual CIA Summit indicates that attendance will far exceed that number. The conference is open to all indie artists, and is not limited to members of IndieHeaven.
For more information, go to www.indieheaven.com or www.ciasummit.com.