The City of Austin announced the appointment of Erica Shamaly as the new manager of its Music & Entertainment Division at an Austin Music Commission meeting on Monday evening at the Long Center.
Kevin Johns, director of the city’s Economic Development Department, said Shamaly was chosen from an initial field of 51 candidates that was narrowed down to a group of seven finalists. “Erica was just by far the top candidate,” he told the seven Music Commission members who attended the meeting.
Shamaly replaces Don Pitts, who resigned in February while on administrative leave after serving as the department’s program manager since the office was created in 2010. She comes to the position after three years as director of marketing for ACL Live and its sister venue 3Ten.
Shamaly’s previous work included a year as director of marketing and business development for the Reverb Appreciation Society, which presents Austin’s Levitation Festival (formerly Psych Fest). Earlier, she co-founded the nonprofit Austin School of Film at Motion Media Arts Center in 2002 and served as its co-executive director for nine years. Shamaly received degrees in art history and studio art from the University of Texas in the mid-1990s.
Her first day on the job will be July 24. Responsibilities will include “overseeing day-to-day operations of the Music & Entertainment Division and the 9 staff plus develop and implement initiatives that help accelerate the growth of the music and entertainment industry infrastructure,” according to a statement posted to the City of Austin Economic Development Department website. The statement did not disclose Shamaly’s salary. Pitts’ salary when he departed was $95,180.80.
At Monday’s meeting, Music Commission members spent around 20 minutes asking Shamaly about her interests and plans as the new manager. Discussions touched on issues such as children’s musical education, cost-of-living challenges facing local musicians, and ongoing battles over the city’s “agent of change” proposal and looming CodeNext coding revisions.
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A self-described “Austin music lover” who said she’s attended thousands of music shows here across the last three decades, Shamaly asserted that her aim is to “create a foundation for our creators to be able to make a living.”
“It’s really all about revenue generation,” she added later. “That’s what we’re going to focus on.”