Preserving musical history can often be a challenge. With the assistance of Gonzaga Law’s Business Law Clinic and the work of three students, the new nonprofit Musicians Legacy & Legends Project has been formed to focus on preserving potentially forgotten musical talent from the Spokane / Coeur D’Alene area.
Working To Preserve Musical History
The Musicians Legacy & Legends Project started as an idea of a group of musical performers, educators and administrators in the Spokane area during a weekly coffee a few years ago. “We realized that we were quickly losing all of these important stories of musicians that played at Spokane venues that just don’t exist any longer,” explained Project spokesperson Jerry Thomas. “We are going to the homes of these musicians, recording them telling their stories, playing their music, and sharing their history.” In an effort to bring more resources to this group project, Thomas sought the help of Gonzaga Law’s ULA.
Addressing a Variety of Legal Challenges
For about a year, with the guidance of Business Law Clinic director Steve Faust, and volunteer attorney Susan Amstadter, a variety of students took on the challenges of this new nonprofit. Emily Harris, Tyler Kerr, and SaeRom Konecky all worked on the project throughout the 2012-2013 academic year. The leaders of the project and the ULA team worked to establish the legal foundations for the Project. This included not only filing articles of incorporation for the non-profit, writing bylaws and preparing an application for 501(c)(3) status, but also addressing significant intellectual property law concerns related to archiving and sharing recordings of potentially copyrighted music material.
Moving Forward With the Project
Now that the Musicians Legacy & Legends Project has official nonprofit status, Thomas says that the foundation can move forward with their goals. “With the new 501(c)(3) status, we can apply for grants for equipment, help editing the videos, and exploring new partnerships to make these stories available to area libraries and museums.”