Wasserman Music, Black Music Action Coalition and Tennessee State University teamed to launch their inaugural Music Accelerator Program – a three-week academic program running May 9-26 – that will provide about 20 students an intensive curriculum in disciplines across the music business.
In collaboration with Nashville Music Equality and the Recording INdustry Association of America, MAP will cover topics including songwriting, copyrights, publishing, labels, marketing, touring, publicity and more. Registration is currently taking place and is open to all TSU students.
The program will feature guest lectures from influential music executives, along with internship placements for students looking to start their career paths across multiple music industry companies, including Wasserman Music and Quality Control Music.
Speakers confirmed include Post Malone manager Dre London, Artistry Group founder/CEO Max Gousse, Roddy Ricch manager Shawn Holiday, EMPIRE product manager Russell Barrett, Revels Group manager Jamil Davis, and Wasserman Music agents Lee Anderson, Lenore Kinder, Callender, Chappel McCollister and Mallory Smith. Additional guest speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Lindsay LaBennett, Senior Director of Inclusion, Equity & Diversity at Wasserman, explains, “In recognizing the need for more diverse representation across all areas of the music industry, we want to inform, educate and expose the next generation of leaders with our specialized industry insight and intelligence.”
The initiative is one of many commitments Wasserman Music has made via their partnership with Color of Change and their #ChangeMusic platform. The agency plans to expand the program to other HBCUs – historically Black colleges and universities – in future years.
YouTube, in partnership with 353 Media Group, will support the initiative by capturing content from the program to showcase its impact and encourage additional partners and universities to participate in the future.
“The launch of this program is one step in Wasserman’s commitment to doing the work to create real change in this industry,” said Lee Anderson, EVP and Managing Executive at Wasserman Music. ” We couldn’t ask for a better partner to work with than BMAC, whose values and goals perfectly align with ours in this effort. We look forward to expanding this program to other schools in the years ahead.”
Wasserman Music Senior Vice President Lenore Kinder adds, “We’re excited about kicking off our program with TSU here in Nashville and working with Nashville Music Equality to help prepare these promising students to launch successful music industry careers. Our aim is to help grow the next generation of industry leaders to create a lasting impact on the music business.”
Dr. Robert L. Elliott, Head of the Department of Music at Tennessee State University, said, “Tennessee State University has one of the longest established Commercial Music degree programs in the country, not to mention HBCUs. We are extremely pleased to join all of the program partners in this activity to expand equity of access and participation within all parts of the music industry to students, who upon graduation, have too often found themselves marginalized and shut out from full participation. The partners in this activity are truly working to help shift the paradigm of inclusion and equity within all parts of the music industry, and TSU and its students are proud to be a part of this historic change.”
Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, co-founder and co-chair of BMAC, said, “Black Music Action Coalition is committed to breaking down barriers, creating access and opportunities and leveling the playing field for the next generation of Black Executives and creatives. This partnership with Wasserman Music and TSU is the beginning of a movement that will grow and further expand to colleges across the country. Not only are we ensuring meaningful paid internships with support services like housing and transportation but to have the opportunity to bring in subject matter experts and industry leaders to conduct in-person classes will be invaluable to the students.”
Additional program partners include the International Entertainment Buyers Association, Spotify, the Country Music Association, SOLID Nashville, Sony Music, and the Country Music Hall of Fame.