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December 16, 2016
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The Consortium Memphis Music Town has officially opened its Talent Development Complex, a facility where local artists can learn about the music business and record their original material.

Michael Sheffield

The Consortium MMT, which was founded in 2012 by Memphis music and Stax legend David Porter, will continue to hold its 6-week Music Mentoring Program, but graduates of the program will now have free access to recording facilities that include equipment and software for music production.

George Monger, executive director of Consortium MMT, said the Talent Development Complex will open to artists by the middle of November. The front of the more-than-3, 000-square-foot complex on South Main will be open to any artist who needs access to services formerly provided to them by the Memphis Music Foundation. Those artists will receive a free membership and access to paid services from Consortium MMT, Monger said.

The recording facilities will be available to artists who complete the Mentoring Program. Porter said they will be able to record high quality material they will continue to own. Consortium MMT has received corporate support from a variety of sponsors including FedEx Corp., AutoZone Inc., the Hyde Family Foundations, the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Porter himself. But they will also launch a giving module on the organization’s website in order to keep the paid services affordable to artists.

“The average (artist) only generates an average of $469 a week, ” Monger said. “We have to be cognizant of what they can afford until they’re able to improve their quality of life."

Porter said his goal with Consortium MMT and the Talent Development Complex has always been to provide knowledge he has learned over his time in the music industry to a new generation of artists.

“We have to elevate the young with tools they can choose to use, ” Porter said. “I don’t want to make them relatable to the '60s. I want to keep that so I can keep my royalties. But they can relate it to now and incorporate that into their natural creative instincts.”

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