As the Christian music industry undergoes radical changes, independent artists are realizing that there is more than one path they can consider. Nashville-based company IndieHeaven is responding to the needs of independent artists with CIA Summit – an event specifically tailored to educate independent Christian artists and provide a balanced representation of the paths available to them.
IndieHeaven is a web-based community dedicated to bringing together independent Christian artists from around the globe, to enable, equip, affirm, and empower them to fulfill God’s call on their lives. The website also provides independent artists with an advanced set of tools to promote, market and distribute their music. launched under the name “” in 1997 with just four artists that founder Keith Mohr had produced at his Pennsylvania studio. They survived the dot-com era when other indie music sites launched with tremendous financial backing but disappeared quickly.  In 2002, Broken Records evolved into IndieHeaven, which better reflected their core mission. In just two years, IndieHeaven has more than 300 active members (known as the alliance) and remains truly independent.
CIA Summit, which held it’s inaugural event in March of 2004, was formed out of Mohr’s desire to bring together independents and give them an opportunity to learn, connect, encourage and affirm one another. Over 250 Indieheaven members attended the first summit, and early registration for the 2nd annual CIA Summit indicates that attendance will far exceed that number. The conference is open to all indie artists, and is not limited to members of IndieHeaven.
The 2005 conference will be held in Building 8 of The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee, on March 17-19, 2005.  Due to overwhelming demand, a Master Class has been added, and will be held March 20th.
The CIA Summit has been designed to bring pertinent information to artists at every level of their career. Whether pursuing the record industry, or desiring to remain independent, the artist must be equipped to understand the challenges which face them and acquire the tools they need to succeed.
“CIA” stands for Christian Indie Artist – a term that Mohr believes is a label that should be worn with humility. “We want artists to realize by being ‘interdependent’ they can help one another succeed and may never need to give up control of their music and ministry,” says Mohr. “We encourage artists to share information and ideas, and to work together and cultivate community. We facilitate ‘interdependency’.”
Industry leaders will be on hand to cover a variety of topics including self-management and promotion, legal aspects of the music industry, developing your testimony, marketing and distribution, and more. Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to meet and hear from successful independent artists who are seeing real action in their music careers.
Unlike most Christian music conferences, CIA Summit does not have competitions. According to Mohr, the conference is more concerned with bringing artists together in a spirit of camaraderie and unity.
“Aren’t there enough contests out there already?” asks Mohr. “We don’t care for American Idol type contests or Battle of the Christians events. There’s a totally different vibe when competition is removed from a conference.”
Instead, the four day conference includes a “Feedback Performance Time”, allowing artists to perform not only in front of industry professionals, but in front of a panel of their peers.  Instead of the typical artist competition, CIA Summit provides an opportunity for direct and honest feedback to improve their music and ministry.
“I believe competition brings out the worst in artists, as their pride often takes a front seat to humility,” says Mohr. “I know why they compete. They want to know if they have what it takes, whatever ‘it’ is these days. It’s based on a system that rewards outward appearance and commercial marketability, and I do not believe that is how an independent Christian artist should start their ministry path.”
“Many compete because they want to be discovered. They want to skip steps on the path to whatever they believe success is. Our goal is to renew the artistic mind and teach them that the path to validity and affirmation does not come from commercial success, but from fulfilling their mission by doing the will of God in their lives. If commercial success comes their way, that’s great, but lets not start the journey on that path. Let’s start the journey by being obedient to the call, which is to reach people with the great news of Christ.”
Due to overwhelming response, an additional day has been added to this year’s event. Mohr will present a special Master Class on how to use the tools available at Dawn Jones of The Booking Workshop will also be on hand to present a special two hour class on concert booking and marketing a music ministry.
Industry leaders confirmed for the 2005 CIA Summit include Keith Mohr, of, Tom Jackson of Tom Jackson Productions, Ken Steorts of Visible School, Brett Manning of Singing Success, independent A&R representative John Mays, Dawn Jones of The Booking Workshop, Greg Seneff of Music Law Biz, Darren Tyler of Platform Artist Management, producer and songwriter Morgan Cryar, Brian Mayes of Nashville Publicity Group, Michael Johnson of Top 5 Radio Promotions, Wally Nason of Nason Music Group, Byron Spradlin of Artists in Christian Testimony, Eric Copeland of Creative Soul, Dan Huisinga of TAG Artists Group, Ted Bruun of the EXTREME TOUR, Sam Barnhart of the group Bleach, and A&R personnel from various record labels in Nashville.
For more information and to register, visit the official site at


Enjoy this website? Please spread the word :)