2018 MN Music Summit: Amplifying Our Stories

April 12 – 14   |   St. Paul / Minneapolis


This 3-day music festival and conference brings a taste of SXSW to the Twin Cities with keynote conversations, music workshops, industry panels, networking events, talks and performances by Minnesota's top musicians, including Babes in Toyland's Lori Barbero, rising R&B star PaviElle, transgender rock artist Venus DeMars. Open to artists, industry professionals and fans of all ages, genders and backgrounds, this year's Summit will be themed around amplifying women's stories, providing opportunities for 1,000+ musicians and fans to gather at St. Catherine University and other Twin Cities venues to discuss timely issues affecting artists and our regional music communities. Featuring a keynote address and performance by Portland indie artist, author and podcaster Laura Veirs. See below for full schedule.



Summit Brewing Company (910 Montreal Circle, St. Paul)
6-8 pm: Kickoff Party
Check in, get your swag bags and mingle with artists and industry professionals over beer and eats. With guest appearances by this year's featured artists and our keynote speaker Laura Veirs. Sponsored by MnSpin. FREE.

St. Catherine University-The O'Shaughnessy (2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul)
9 am: Coffee/Sign up for Mentoring Sessions (Lobby)
Sign up for 15-minute speed mentoring sessions with a variety of booking, media and film professionals.

10-11 am: One-on-One Mentoring Sessions (Lobby)
Ask questions from a variety of booking, media and arts professionals, including Chris Moon (Noisetrade), Jessica Rau (Cedar Cultural Center), Masami Kawazato (Metropolitan Regional Arts Council), Scott LeGere (artist/producer/entrepreneur),  Molly Maher (artist/guitar tech), Emmy Carter (Cedar Cultural Center). Must sign up that day.

12 pm: Keynote Address with Laura Veirs (Recital Hall)
With indie artist, author and podcaster Laura Veirs. FREE.

1-5 pm: Guitar Expo (Lobby)
Meet local luthiers and instrument repair techs.

*1 pm: Artist Meet & Greet (Green Room)
Summit Premium Badge holders will have the opportunity to meet Laura Veirs backstage following her keynote.

1:15 pm: Conversation with Lori Barbero (Recital Hall)
The Current's Andrea Swensson hosts this conversation with drummer and founding member of legendary punk/rock band Babes in Toyland.

1:30 pm: Yoga for Musicians (Auditorium Stage)
Mary Bue of Imbue Yoga teaches a class for creatives looking to relieve stress.

Tech Workshops (Upstairs Classroom)
2:15 pm: Gig Gear with Molly Maher
Artist and guitar tech Molly Maher talks about the gear you need and answers all your technical questions.

3:15 pm: Looping Vocals 101
Singers, come learn about the technical and creative aspects of using a looping instrument to create (or even improvise) unique layers with your voice on or off stage - with artist, improviser and versatile vocalist Lynn O'Brien.

4:15 pm: Behind the Board: Becoming a Sound Engineer
Holly Hansen hosts this panel talking about live sound and studio engineering.

Creating Community Through Music (Downstairs Rehearsal Room)
2:30 pm: Racism in the Music Industry
Join us for a discussion about racism in the music industry and what we can do to create positive change in our local music community. With Youa Vang (writer/publicist), Kathleen Johnson (artist), Mayda (artist).

3:30 pm: Creating Safe Spaces for Artists 

Conversation about how we can work to make the Minnesota music community more safe for female-identified, non-binary, GLBT and POC artists. Including tips on how artists and venues can address sexual harassment. With Sam Stahlmann (She Rock She Rock), Leah Lemm (artist), Jessica Rau (Cedar Cultural Center), Nicky Leingang (artist/activist).

6:30 pm: Pre-Show Party (Lobby)
Come early for pre-show drinks, live music from Waltzing on Waves and a chance to meet representatives from Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) and Folk Alliance International. Sponsored by FARM. FREE.

*7:30 pm: Laura Veirs Release Show with Jayanthi Kyle + Prairie Fire Lady Choir (Auditorium)
Celebrating Laura Veirs' new album with special appearances by Minnesota's top musical talent, including Jayanthi Kyle and Prairie Fire Lady Choir. Hosted by The Current's Andrea Swensson, this MN Music Summit concert will include a special presentation of the 2018 Minnesota Music Champion Award. Tickets: $16-$25 or free with MN Music Summit badge. Reserve single concert tickets here.

Aria (105 N. 1st Street, Minneapolis)
*10 pm-12 am: Music Video Party + Gallery Show
After the concert, join us for a special after-party, sponsored by the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. Featuring a screening of Minnesota's top music videos and DJ sets by Mamadu and Freddy Fresh.

St. Catherine University-The O'Shaughnessy (2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul)

9 am: Coffee/Sign up for Mentoring Sessions (Lobby)
Sign up for 15-minute speed mentoring sessions with a variety of booking, media and film professionals.

Film & Legal Workshops (Downstairs Rehearsal Room)
10 am: Protecting Artists in Music Transactions & Against Inappropriate Behavior Toward Women
Entertainment attorneys will review essential artist rights and protections, addressing such topics as gender bias, sexual harassment and equitable transactions for recording, publishing and touring. With Fox Rothschild attorneys Ken Abdo, Lori Landew, Bob Castle.
 Sponsored by Mendoza Law and Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.

11:30 am: Legal Assistance for Musicians
Entertainment attorneys and law students from Minnesota Justice Foundation talk about common legal issues and offer free one-on-one legal help. Sponsored by Mendoza Law.

11 am: One-on-One Mentoring Sessions (Lobby)
Ask questions from a variety of booking, media and film professionals, including Holly Hansen (Zoo Animal), Nikki Pfeiffer (Pytch Records), William Van De Crommert (composer), Colin Campbell (The Shackletons). Must sign up that day.

11 am-1 pm: Chair Massage (Lobby)
Take a break and get a 10-minute chair massage from LittleTree Therapy.

DIY Workshops (Upstairs Classroom)
10:15 am: Reaching Your Crowdfunding Goal
Learn the do's and don'ts of crowdfunding and how to successfully fund your next project.

11:15 am: Getting to Know the Jerome Foundation
Conversation with Jerome Foundation President Ben Cameron about their artist programs. Sponsored by American Composers Forum.

Keynote Conversations (Recital Hall)
12 pm: Being Your Authentic Self with PaviElle
Janis Lane-Ewart of Jazz88 hosts a conversation with rising R&B star PaviElle about being your authentic artistic self.

1 pm: All Her Pretty Horses with Venus DeMars
Venus DeMars shares her story as a transgender artist, activist and leader of rock band All the Pretty Horses.

Youth Workshops (Downstairs Rehearsal Room)
1-3 pm: Youth Workshops
Learn about navigating the live music scene and how it has changed for young performers. Sponsored by The Garage.

Booking/Touring Workshops (Upstairs Classroom)
1:30 pm: Kids on Board: Parenting & Touring
Tips from experienced artists on how to tour with kids.
2:30 pm: How to Get Asked Back
Presenters and venue bookers talk about booking etiquette and what you can do to get asked back to perform. With Kathleen Spehar (The O'Shaughnessy), Brianna Lane (The Warming House), Ellen Stanley (MN Music Coalition).
Capri Theater (2027 W. Broadway, Minneapolis)
*7 pm: Piano Hero and Superfriends + Grand Finale Party feat. Venus DeMars, Mayda

The Summit ends with an all-ages party at the historic Capri Theater, where Prince first played his first show! Featuring the premiere of Carrie Heinemann Shaw's live music/film collaboration Piano Hero and Superfriends and performances by Venus DeMars (rock), Mayda (R&B/pop) and innovative Duluth talent Ingeborg von Agassiz (electronic/folk/pop). Sponsored by Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival and American Composers Forum. Tickets: $8-$14 or free with MN Music Summit or Film Festival badges. Reserve single concert tickets here.

The 2018 MN Music Summit is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. It is also funded with a St. Paul Cultural STAR grant.

Parking at St. Catherine University is free for all Summit events Friday and Saturday. No permit is required to park in The O’Shaughnessy Lot, or other lots on campus at these times. If you choose to park on the street, please pay close attention to posted parking restrictions. There is no O’Shaughnessy parking allowed in the Carondelet Center parking lot.

Campus map and driving directions here.


*Requires Summit Premium Badge. Summit wristbands get you in to all daytime events and the Thursday night kickoff party. Summit Premium Badges give you access to all conference events, including daytime events, evening concerts, private parties and premium seating for Friday night's Laura Veirs concert.