Thursday, September 16, 2021
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The sound of Fort Worth is available now at the library

🕐 2 min read

If one wishes to hear what Fort Worth sounds like, there’s a new web platform for that.

A partnership between Fort Worth Public Library and Hear Fort Worth has launched a free online music service that will feature only Fort Worth-area artists. The service is called Amplify 817.

Amplify 817 offers commercial-free, curated music for listeners to discover and enjoy. All the music is free to access and stream, while library cardholders can even download songs.

Local budding artists get compensation for their songs.

“This will be a living, breathing showcase for Fort Worth musicians and their music,” said Manya Shorr, Fort Worth library director. “As new artists join Amplify 817, it will quite literally amplify what they are doing to a much larger audience.

A jury of experts – yet to be selected – will review submissions to be included on the site.

The library will soon hire a music librarian to oversee the Amplify 817 jury, as well as coordinate a music-instrument lending program, the library said.

The library will have instruments for cardholders to check out, take home and play for three weeks at a time starting March 14.

“Music helps shape a city’s vibe and culture. It can also support economic development. When artists thrive and their music is easy to find, the spotlight shines on all of Fort Worth,” said Mitch Whitten, Visit Fort Worth’s executive vice president for marketing and strategy. “We are excited to partner with Amplify 817 to showcase the sounds of the city in a way that’s free and easy to access for all.”

The Fort Worth Public Library Foundation is partially funding the new service.

Amplify 817 is powered by Rabble, an online service designed specifically to help libraries build current collections of local music to share with their communities. The Fort Worth Public Library will join the likes of the libraries in Nashville, Seattle, Austin, and Edmonton, Canada, which have similar music services.

The website has launched with a “teaser collection” of four Fort Worth musicians, namely: Lou CharLe$, Gollay, Jack Barksdale and Taylor Pace.

“With streaming taking over as the main way people consume music, Amplify 817 is a real game-changer for musicians like myself,” CharLe$ said. “I truly appreciate the Fort Worth Public Library for making a concerted effort to promote and cultivate the city’s homegrown talent.”

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