Photo by Rachel Wilson

Berklee College Of Music Announces Open Music Initiative At Ace Hotel

Berklee College of Music Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab has announced the Open Music Initiative, an effort to drive new artist engagement opportunities at Ace Hotel New Orleans.

The initiative aims to mend an ever-growing sore in the music industry, coalescing to fix the industry’s digital chain and ensure that royalties are distributed directly to music rights holders, creators and artists. The OMI group is backed by major labels such as Universal, Sony and Warner, plus streaming platforms Spotify, Pandora and YouTube.

Through the partnership Ace Hotel will collaborate with OMI in offering its first public series of events by co-hosting a series of workshops across the Ace Hotel properties that aim to foster creative dialogue and explore the impact technology has and will continue to have on the music industry.

Attendees of the workshops will learn how technology such as blockchain can lead to new forms of creative expression, fan collaboration and commercialization opportunities.

A tangible example of these efforts to build a direct communication between artist and consumer can be explained through a wearable device; the device would provide input back to a performing DJ, as well as the original artist, on where and when their songs are played and the physiological response from the audience.

The partnership is being tested first in New Orleans, a city that Kelly Sawdon, Partner and Chief Brand Officer of Ace Hotel Group, finds to be most fitting for the initiative. “There is so much opportunity for creative expression and forward-thinking pursuits in the digital realm, and we’re honored to be working with Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship and their Open Music Initiative to bring new exploratory technologies into our communities,” says Sawdon. “We’re lucky enough to operate in cities with overwhelming artistic talent and can’t wait to see what insights they discover given the necessary tools and knowledge. We’re excited to kick off the partnership in New Orleans, with the possibility to expand to other cities in the near future.”

The first in the series of events brought by the collaboration will take place on Tuesday, February 27 at Ace Hotel New Orleans. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with presentations beginning at 7 p.m. and an artist feedback session to follow.

To learn more or sign up to attend, visit