SALADO, Texas — A one of its kind program designated to help the music industry in Texas has made its way to Bell County.
The Village of Salado has officially been named a Music Friendly Community by the Texas Music Office of Gov. Greg Abbott's administration.
Community members and Village officials celebrated the new honor Tuesday evening with a concert and certificate ceremony.
"We decided to go after it because Salado was already known for being a very artsy community with also a very strong music industry," said Stacey Ybarra, the assistant village administrator.
After checking all the boxes, the Village is the 34th city to be added to the program.
Chip Adams with the Texas Music Office says it will boost the local economy while also bringing in artists.
"We crank out legends all the time," he said. "We want to make sure we're supporting the industry and helping those new musicians, the up and comers, have a place to play and grow."
The program has created more than 210,000 jobs across the Lone Star State and generated more than $27 billion.
"When you look at the music hubs of California, New York and Tennessee -- and here's Texas, really putting the work in to developing a music industry," Adams said.
David Steward grew up in Salado and has a passion for music. Now he is the Vice Chairman if the Salado Music Friendly Advisory Board. He believes the designation is just solidifying what Salado has always been about.
"I think it just reinforces what we've already known -- Salado has always loved live music," he said. "I mean from the many talented local artists we have, all the way up to national touring."
With a music foundation already established, Village leaders are hopeful it will put them even more on the map and bring in larger events.
"Us the Village will be able to have a larger understanding of the needs of the music industry," Ybarra added.
Harker Heights is in the progress of becoming a Music Community Friendly, too.
Waco is also already part of the program.
The Texas Music Office expects to add more cities to the list each year and even more from Central Texas.