Pat Mitchell Worley, Director of Development and Communications for the Memphis Music Foundation since July 2008, is in the midst of planning a huge party — the Music Resource Center's first birthday celebration, which runs tonight at their headquarters at 431 S. Main from 6 to 9 p.m.
Worley, a lifelong champion of local music and a veteran of the Blues Foundation, Memphis In May, and MPACT Memphis, took a quick break this afternoon to answer five questions about the MMF and the MRC and the myriad ways that she and her fellow staff members — president Dean Deyo, business coordinator Catrina Guttery, director Cameron Mann, marketing manager Courtney Wilgus, program assistants Sam Farries, Aryen Moore-Alston, Michael McMannus and J.D. Reager — are offering a helping hand to Memphis musicians.
Flyer: What has been the biggest success for the MRC this year?
Worley: Getting the Music Resource Center open. Our goal was to get 200 members through the place, and we're close to 2000. The classes that we've done have been fabulous. The one-on-one consultations with Memphis artists, who are excited they've got someone to go to and get help from.
What did the MMF accomplish at South-By-Southwest this year?
We're still seeing a residual response from the contacts that bands made out there. We've got a lot of outsiders wondering, "What's going on in Memphis?" To come out of SXSW, where there's so much noise, to know that you made a distinctive yelp... That's nice, and it's it gonna help us go forward.
What do you want musicians who haven't been through the door of the MRC to know specifically about ways you can assist them?
Music is a business. With some of the obstacles they are facing as artists, there is help for them locally. There are people who cares about their success, who want them to grow and have a career that goes beyond piecemealing local performances and living gig-to-gig. If they're interested in a long-standing career, they should definitely come by.
What can people expect at tonight's party?
A lot of great music. A lot of networking.
Is it fair to ask you pick your frontrunner for the next big act to come out of Memphis?
That's too hard! Okay, I can tell you my absolute favorite [band] right now: River City Tanlines. I like to rock, and I like chicks that rock, and [Alicja Trout] rocks. I see so much potential there — Alicja could be an absolute superstar.