The MAMAs Kick Off a New Year With Lots of Changes

Features 29 Oct 2009

new mama logoThe MAMAs Kick Off a New Year With Lots of Changes

MAMA, Inc. has announced that registration is open for the 7th Annual Madison Area Music Awards. You can link to the registration site at their homepage:

Musicians have until January 15th, 2010 to submit their eligible songs, videos and albums. Categories are also available for the Performer of the Year awards which do not require music to be released during 2009. In addition, a 2009 release is not required to enter the Vocalist and  Instrumentalist categories which were expanded last year to cover guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, drummers, etc. There are three categories for youth musicians: Youth Ensemble, Youth Vocalist and Youth Instrumentalist. An overall Artist of the Year category is again being sponsored by Smart Studios and the recipient receives a day of recording at Smart along with other winnings. Write-in categories are available for other music-related areas such as Live Music Venue, Local Music CD and Record Outlet, Local Music Radio Station and several more.

Fans can register to vote now as well, and may do so right up until the last day of voting in the final round.

Registration as a musician or fan requires a $5 membership donation that goes directly into the MAMAs’ charitable fund. The MAMAs is a non-profit organization that works to put musical instruments in kids’ hands and to fund youth music programs. The MAMAs website contains a complete history of charitable giving the organization has accomplished.

What’s New For 2010

The big news right now is that the MAMAs have moved to the Capitol Theater in the Overture Center, bringing the awards show back to Madison’s downtown. Through the Overture Center’s Community Partnership Program, a new application-driven outreach effort, the MAMAs qualified to use the space and equipment at little to no charge.  MAMA, Inc. sees this as a major step toward getting the city more involved with their efforts.

The other big news is that the MAMAs have adopted a new approach to sponsorships, seeking out sponsors at a manageable level to sponsor award categories. Broadjam, Inc., the company that also contributes their online voting systems for the MAMAs use, will be sponsoring the album categories.  Each eligible album will receive one sponsored entry, which means it won’t be subject to the $10 registration fee. For instance, an album could be entered into the rock genre and Broadjam’s sponsorship will be $10. If the artist wishes to submit the album into another genre, blues for instance, then the $10 registration fee once again applies. Likewise, Good-n-Loud Music, a long-time supporter of the MAMAs and youth music programs, will sponsor the instrumentalist and youth categories.  Local Sounds ( will be sponsoring the write-in categories, also known as the People’s Choice Awards, picking up the costs of the trophies.

Although the Song and Performance categories don’t have sponsors this year, MAMA, Inc. feels that next year each category may have a sponsor, drastically shifting the costs to sponsors and away from musicians. Though everyone in the MAMAs organization wishes the event were fully funded sooner, the revenue from registrations is what has allowed the MAMAs to stay in the black and survive, even through financially troubled times. Shrewd cost-cutting measures employed in 2009 also helped to see the organization through an economically questionable period.

There are only a few changes to the award categories. This year the MAMAs is bringing back the Hard Rock/Punk category, which was eliminated a few years ago due to lack of participation.  A new write-in category, Studio Sound Engineer was also added after confusion arose last year over a new Live Sound Engineer award (many people wrote in studio engineers).

What’s to Come

There are many more announcements forthcoming from the MAMAs and several future press releases are planned. For now, here is the calendar of significant dates:

October 5, 2009 – Open registration

January 15, 2010 – Registration ends

February 1, 2010 – First voting round begins

March 18, 2010 – First voting round ends

March 27, 2010 – Nominee Announcement Party at the Brink Lounge

March 28, 2010 – Final round of voting starts

April 28, 2010 – Final voting ends

May 8, 2010 – 7th Annual Madison Area Music Awards – Overture Center, Capitol Theater 

Red Carpet at 6PM, Awards Show 7-10 PM

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About the author

Rick Tvedt

Rick is publisher of Local Sounds Magazine, formerly Rick's Cafe, Wisconsin's Regional Music Newspaper. He is also the Executive Director for MAMA, Inc., a non-profit organization that produces the Madison Area Music Awards and raises funds to promote youth music programs.

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