Atlanta looks to lure Latin Grammy
By Susan Stabley
Georgia officials are considering making a bid to bring a Latin Grammy Awards show to Atlanta.
"A representative from the Georgia Film, Video & Music Office met with the Latin Academy to discuss the possibility of holding the Latin Grammys here in Atlanta," said Lauren Curry, a spokeswoman for Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. "Right now, it's in the exploratory phase. No formal offer has been made, and there is no letter of intent."
"It was just a fact-finding mission," said Greg Torre, director of the Georgia Film, Video & Music Office, part of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism. "We met to discuss the possibility of holding the Latin Grammys."
Does that mean Atlanta is in the running as a future Latin Grammys host city?
"It means that the people from Georgia are really nice and very proactive," said Marya Meyer, vice president of Latin Corporate & External Affairs for the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. She said the meeting took place in Miami within the past month. "They came to make a presentation. ... It's nice to have other people thinking about you."
The Latin recording academy will have its fourth annual Latin Grammys show Sept. 3 at American Airlines Arena. The event will be televised live by CBS.
Ms. Meyer said a location for the next Latin Grammys has not been decided.
The Latin Grammys were scheduled for South Florida two years ago but were moved to Los Angeles because organizers feared disruption by Cuban protesters. Miami lost a bid in 2000 to be host to the show because of a Miami-Dade County ordinance, since repealed, that would have prohibited Cuban musicians from performing.
This year, Miami city commissioners passed a resolution preventing city funds from being given to the event, said Kelly Penton, press secretary for Mayor Manny Diaz.
An agreement for a site for demonstrators was reached Monday after weeks of negotiations, Ms. Penton said.
Since the Latin Grammys' first show Sept. 13, 2000, in Los Angeles, it has been plagued with controversy and cancellations.
After controversy surrounding the move from Miami to Los Angeles for the second show, the event was scheduled for Sept. 11, 2001, but was canceled after terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. The academy staged a benefit concert and announced Grammy winners later in a press conference.
The Latin Grammys is expected to add $35 million to the economy in South Florida. This year's event is being accompanied by three months of expanded activities, including fundraisers for outreach programs and scholarships.
"Everyone looks at Miami as the center of Latin music," Ms. Meyer said.
The Latin Recording Academy recently signed a long-term contract with Dacra Companies of Miami Beach to locate its headquarters in about 3,300 square feet in the Buick Building at 3841 NE Second Ave.