GMA Music Week to Draw Thousands Amid Economic Downturn

Thousands of Christian music fans, musicians, and exhibitors are gathered in Music City for GMA Music Week, which kicks off today.

The annual Christian music event organized by the Gospel Music Association (GMA) is being held April 18-22 in the Nashville Convention Center, just eight miles west of the Nashville International Airport.

And for many, this year's gathering will be especially important given the current state of the U.S. economy.

"We believe this GMA Music Week, perhaps more than any other in recent history, is one that no one in our community can afford to miss," said John W. Styll, president and CEO of more than 4,000-member GMA. "We believe it is so important to engage together so that, together, we might take stock of trends affecting our industry; explore better ways to do our jobs and to discover the new and rising artists that will take our music into the future."

Each year, GMA Music Week draws thousands of artists, radio, retail, managers, agents, promoters, record companies, publishers, media, marketing and public relations professionals.

Touted as the must-attend convention of the year for anyone doing business in or with the Gospel music community, GMA Music Week features more than 100 artist performances, educational seminars, spiritual enrichment, and unparalleled networking opportunities.

This year, two new sessions – featuring financial experts and leading authors Michael Q. Pink and Bethany and Scott Palmer – along with the already announced Dave Ramsey's Wealth Program, will provide attendees inspiration, insight and creative solutions to both professional and personal concerns.

"GMA Music Week is a time to gather, not only to celebrate the achievements of our artists and businesses, but perhaps as importantly, this week offers us an opportunity to support, equip and encourage in the shared journey during turbulent economic times," said Styll. "GMA offers an excellent return on investment to our attendees with specific classes this year that address the important matters of personal and business finances within the context of music and ministry."

And more than Gospel music, all Christian music genres are represented throughout GMA Music Week including pop, rock, praise & worship, black gospel, R&B, hip hop, southern gospel, country, and more.

GMA Music Week culminates with the 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards, which will take place April 23 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. Dubbed the "Christian Grammy" by some, Dove Awards recognize outstanding achievements in Christian music with awards representing a wide variety of musical styles.