Music Ambassador Program (MAP)
As Huntsville invests and builds on its reputation as an emerging music hub, the Huntsville Music Office has created a unique initiative that mobilizes local musicians as national and international ambassadors for the City – the Huntsville Music Ambassador Program, or MAP.
The reality of the music industry is that touring is critical to developing a fan base, generating revenue and sustaining a career. Musicians living in Huntsville regularly tour the country, sometimes the world, sharing our unique music culture with their audiences. Because these artists are already elevating Huntsville through their authentic voices and stories, why not mobilize them as paid brand Ambassadors?
Touring musicians have a unique opportunity to promote Huntsville as a must-visit destination or even a place to plant roots. MAP subsidizes a necessary element of an artist’s career, making their touring efforts more efficient, more profitable and more impactful so they can keep bringing the unique story of Huntsville to their audiences each night.
Musicians are some of Huntsville’s best Ambassadors. We’re excited to have the opportunity to reward their work and provide them with resources they need to continue doing it even more.
Huntsville’s Music Ambassador Program is the first strategic music export program in the country to be launched and administered at the municipal government level. Ambassadors are eligible to receive between $750-$1,500 per tour. There’s no limit on how many times an artist can be funded, but there is an annual cap of $4,500.
The premise is simple – encourage our touring musicians to promote Huntsville to their audiences. Doing so elevates Huntsville’s cultural profile, driving tourism, talent attraction and economic development. When our local musicians hit the stage, they’re letting crowds know they proudly hail from Huntsville, Alabama. Music lovers might plan a trip here or add Huntsville to their list of cities for job searches after spending an evening with one of our artists.
The program also serves as a workforce development initiative. MAP provides direct financial support to Huntsville-based touring musicians who meet eligibility requirements, creating an opportunity for them to grow their careers, showcase their music outside the city and elevate Huntsville’s profile as an inclusive, supportive city of choice for musicians to reside. These opportunities will attract professional musicians to move to Huntsville, but more importantly, incentivize the talent already living here to put down roots.
The Huntsville Music Office is proud to offer a program that creates economic vibrancy through direct investment in artists who power our music ecosystem.
Artists supported by MAP are eligible to receive between $750-$1,500 per tour. There’s no limit on how many times an artist can be funded, but there is an annual cap of $4,500.
Funding amounts are based on the size of the band, geographic reach of the tour and number of tour dates, with each element receiving a score based on a standard rubric. The total score across all three categories will determine the funding amount an artist receives, to remove subjectivity from the process as much as possible.
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Be a Huntsville-area resident
- Have five (5) or more tour dates booked outside of Huntsville, with the majority outside a 100-mile radius from Huntsville
- Artists with multidate residencies (multiple dates at a single venue in a single city) are typically not funded unless they are part of a bigger tour.
- Multiple members of the same band will not be funded. Bands based in the Huntsville area should submit one application and indicate the total number of people the grant will fund.
- Multiple artists on a single tour can be individually funded if each artist is billed separately and promotes the tour via their respective social media accounts.
- Tours must be verified via third parties, which may include venue websites or independent promoter ticketing/event sites. Private events are typically not considered an eligible tour date.
- Artists building nontraditional tours may be funded but will be asked to provide other documentation (e.g., letters of support from house concert hosts, etc.).
No genres are excluded from MAP funding. Any artist or band meeting the program eligibility requirements as described above will be funded.
Ambassadors must create one piece of social content (e.g., Instagram reel, TikTok video, Instagram, or Facebook photo and/or video with caption, etc.) about receiving support through MAP and reflecting on what it means to represent Huntsville while on the road. This post can go live any time during the program period and should either be in-feed or saved to the social profile so that it is permanently viewable (i.e., not a story), and use hashtag #HSVMusic.
Ambassadors are also required to submit a final report within 90 days of the last concert date of the funded tour. This report will provide testimonials and anecdotes that can be used for official City of Huntsville reports and as social media content.
Ambassadors must adhere to the program requirements to remain eligible for future MAP awards.
The online MAP application can be completed within 10-15 minutes. Applicants must list all confirmed tour dates and venues.
Once approved, artists will be required to sign a letter outlining Ambassador expectations. Artists must also provide some basic paperwork, including a completed W9.
Funding is typically processed within 30 days following the completion of these items. Please plan the timing of your application accordingly to ensure funding approval prior to the start of a tour.
MAP submissions are vetted by the Huntsville Music Office the first week of each month, and artists are notified within two weeks after. Funding decisions will be made based on the following formula, with the total score across all three categories determining the amount:
How many dates are on your tour?
- 5-10 = 1 point
- 10-15 = 2 points
- 15+ = 3 points
- International (any amount) = 4 points
How far are you going?
- Regional = 1 point
- East coast (200+ miles) = 2 points
- West coast = 3 points
- International = 4 points
How many people are in your band?
- Solo artist = 1 point
- 2-3 members = 2 points
- 3-6 members = 3 points
- 6+ members = 4 points
Total scores: Funding tiers
- T1: $750 | 3-5 points
- T2: $1000 | 6-8 points
- T3: $1250 | 9-10 points
- T4: $1500 | 11-12 points