1) Use it as a vehicle for musician networking.
The idea of putting musicians who otherwise might never hear (or hear of) each other in a room together at least once a year is, I would think (at least from an artistic perspective), both obvious and compelling.
I recall the first year (I'm guessing around 2012) I visited MSU in Morehead, KY, to speak to the music students. While there I was having lunch with Glenn Ginn and his wonderful family. He mentioned the jazz scene in Seattle in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and I found myself thinking of the story later as I thought of the developments in Seattle at the same time in the rock world.
"Wouldn't it have been grand if there was a reason for folks like Kurt Cobain or Chris Cornell to have been in the room with all these jazz players?" Not to mention, parenthetically, musicians from the Seattle Symphony or the west coast country music scene or WA Blues Society and the like.
One of my great feelings of accomplishment was when, following our first awards show in Lexington, a small explosion of collaborative projects from people who had never before heard of each other, but who met through the awards show.
I'd like to see this effect amplified greatly as we continue into the future.
See full story.