Elizabeth Cawein is a music advocate and strategist. After running her own music PR shop for more than 5 years, in 2016 she founded Music Export Memphis, a nonprofit that leverages public and private support to function as an export office for Memphis music, creating opportunities for musicians and driving economic development through music and culture. She currently serves as executive director of the organization, which has awarded more than $500,000 in direct grants to Memphis musicians since its launch.
Elizabeth is an adjunct professor of music urbanism at Rhodes College and is the Assistant Director of the Curb Institute for Music. In 2015, she was honored by the British Council at its inaugural Education UK Alumni Awards, celebrating outstanding U.S. alumni of British institutions. Elizabeth has moderated panels and has presented showcases at Folk Alliance International, SXSW, A3C, AmericanaFest, Canadian Music Week, and Music Cities Convention. In 2019, she was the keynote speaker at the inaugural Texas Sounds and Cities conference. She previously worked with music consultancy Sound Diplomacy on its U.S. market strategy, consulting with cities on supporting their music ecosystems. She serves as an Adviser on the Recording Academy Memphis Chapter Board, where she is the co-chair of the education committee. She hosts Straight from the Source, a weekly all-Memphis-music program, on WYXR 91.7FM. Elizabeth is dedicated to the belief that smart cities are music cities – her TED Talk on the subject has 1 million views and climbing. You can find out more about Elizabeth and her work in the arts by visiting her website.