Developing a Music strategy for Northwest Arkansas


Sound Diplomacy is the global expert in developing long term and self sufficient music strategies. We have worked in over 40 countries and with over 100 clients, spanning public, private and third sectors, such as the Greater London Authority, City of Vancouver and UNIDO.

Welcome to the website dedicated to the development of a Music Strategy for Northwest Arkansas. We are proud to be working with the Northwest Arkansas region. This website will be updated regularly, with reports on what has been done, what is planned, key dates, and an opportunity for you to stay up to date.


Key upcoming dates:


Northwest Arkansas Music Strategy

Sound Diplomacy is currently working to develop strategic recommendations and finalizing the final report of the Northwest Arkansas Music Strategy.


Overall timeline:


Step 1

Comparative Analysis

& Benchmarking

Music Vision





step 2

Research Visit

Public townhall meeting

Survey (6 weeks)

September 24 - 28

September 25

December - January


step 3

Research, Regulatory and Economic Impact Assessment

Aug 2018 - Jan 2019


step 4

Presentation of Draft Strategic Plan

March 2019


step 5

Music Strategy

Q2 2019

General information

Please contact us if you require any further information:

Lucas Knoflach, Project Lead

Dr. Shain Shapiro, CEO

Dr Shain Shapiro is the founder and Managing Director of Sound Diplomacy, the leading global advisory on Music Cities, providing music strategy and research to cities and governments. He is also the co-founder of Music Cities Convention, the first music conference dedicated to music industry development and city issues.  He has consulted with the Arts Council, Greater London Assembly, UK Music and a dozen other governments and institutions, delivered a TEDx talk on the value of music to cities and spoken on the topic at the European Parliament.  Shain is assembling the Music Board and Night Time Commission for the Greater London Authority, sits on the advisory boards of We Love Hackney and the Night Time Industries Association and is the BPI (UK Major Labels) ‘Music Cities’ representative. He holds a PhD from Birkbeck, has spoken at over 50 industry events and was the in the top 10 Creative Entrepreneurs in Britain in the British Council's h100 list. 

Katja Hermes, Project Director

Katja Hermes is the Head of Projects at Sound Diplomacy. She founded the Sound Diplomacy Berlin office in October 2013. In this role Katja has consulted several cities on their Music City strategy, gave lectures about Music Cities at events over the world and initiated the Music Cities Network together with the Hamburg Music Business Association (IHM). She worked on the development of several funding projects for German institutions and has consulted with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, GIZ, Adam Mickiewicz Institute Poland, Nordic Embassies Berlin and many other institutions. Katja has been working in the music business for more than 12 years. She has worked in various fields in the industry including at Mutek Festival, Ableton and Initiative Musik, the German funding organisation, where she was responsible for the export projects. Katja holds a diploma in Geography and Economy, with a focus on urban planning and creative industries.

Lucas Knoflach, Project Lead

Lucas is a Senior Project Manager at Sound Diplomacy with 8 years of experience in the music, cultural and tech sector. Amongst other projects, he co-wrote an analysis of the digitization processes of the music- and music/tech sector for the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research, organizes the Music Cities Hackathons and has managed several events (Germany at SXSW, BIME, Reeperbahn Festival,...) for Sound Diplomacy in the past years. At the moment, he is working on music city strategies for the City of San Francisco, the City of Lausanne and the region of Northwest Arkansas. Lucas has spoken at conferences such as MUTEK Montreal and BIME in Bilbao and holds a degree in Marketing & Media Management from the Stockholm School of Economics and a degree in International Business from the Vienna School of Business and Economics.  

Banner picture: The AMP, Clayton Taylor | c/o: The AMP