The Country Music Association is honoring late music industry executive Rob Potts with the launch of the Rob Potts International Exchange Program. The four-week industry-focused program, which launches next year, will select two recipients—one from the United States and one from Australia or New Zealand.
Applicants for the Rob Potts International Exchange Program must be either a full-time college/university student or emerging industry professional between the ages of 18 and 25. The U.S. recipient’s program will take place in Australia, while the recipient from Australia/New Zealand will undertake the program in Nashville–with costs covered by the exchange program.
Both recipients will have a primary contact to guide them during the program. Those selected will participate in a series of internships and networking opportunities in Nashville or Australia. CMA task force groups in Nashville and Australia developed the comprehensive work experience program designed to expose individuals to various parts of the business, including the following areas: Marketing/Digital, Media/Public Relations, Booking Agency, Management, Record Labels, Publishing/PRO, Live Events/Stage Production, Radio, Video Production and Recording Studio. The exchange program is not intended for an individual pursuing a career as an artist or songwriter.
The application for the program is open now and closes at 11:59 p.m. CT on Sunday, June 30. Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply at CMAworld.com. The two selected recipients will be notified later this year.
“We are honored to celebrate the legacy of Rob and his contribution to the country music industry through this exchange program and are looking forward to impacting the next generation of music industry professionals through this international program,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Even though his home was miles away in Australia, he was a regular fixture here in Nashville. I still expect to see him in the crowd at CMA Fest. Rob was a tireless advocate for Country Music and we are delighted to engage a new generation of the industry in his honor.”
“Anyone who ever met Rob knows how he could light up any room with his smile and energy,” says John Esposito, Warner Music Nashville Chairman/Chief Executive Officer and CMA Board member. “His passion for country music was unwavering. His passion to have it expand internationally was boundless. I am so thrilled to be a small part of helping lead the CMA task force that created this program. It will benefit future executives in the Country Music business. I’m sure Rob is smiling down on us as we carry the torch of his legacy!”
“The dream my father pursued for three decades was to build a bridge between country music in Australia and in Nashville, behind the scenes as much as on stage,” says Jeremy Dylan, Potts’ son. “This program will honor his legacy and further expand the global exchange of people and ideas that has made country music a truly international genre. I’m very grateful to Sarah, Milly Olykan, everyone at CMA, and everyone else who helped bring this project to fruition, and I’m excited to see the successful applicants embrace these amazing opportunities.”
“Country Music fans, artists and the greater global industry will forever be indebted to Rob for his immeasurable and unwavering dedication to developing country music, both in Australia and across the globe,” says Matthew Lazarus Hall, CMC Rocks Chief Executive Officer and CMA board member. “While always heavily involved in the detail, Rob never took his eye off the big picture, using his passion and expertise to bridge the gap between Australia and Nashville, and steering his efforts towards lasting growth and long-term development to build the Country Music profile and advocate for emerging artists. His impact is still evident today in his support and contributions to CMA, CMC, FANGATE and the CMAA Academy of Country Music. It has been an honor to work alongside such a passionate and inspiring friend, and we hope that the Rob Potts International Exchange Program will carry on his legacy for enhancing country music across the globe.”
Celebrated Australian manager, promoter, country music champion and CMA Board member, Potts’ career spanned more than 30 years. As CEO of his company Entertainment Edge, Potts helped open doors for Australian Country artists including Tommy Emmanuel, Morgan Evans and Keith Urban, in addition to serving as manager for Evans. His success in the touring of U.S. country artists in Australia led to Potts establishing the CMC Rocks festival brand and forging a long-running partnership with Michael Chugg of Chugg Entertainment. Their flagship, CMC Rocks Queensland, is now the biggest country music festival in the Southern Hemisphere.
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