The CMA has selected Julie Bowser (United States) and Megan Hopkins (Australia) as the inaugural participants of the Rob Potts International Exchange Program for individuals pursuing a career in the country music industry. Bowser and Hopkins will participate in the four-week, industry-focused program, which honors the memory of late Australian promoter Rob Potts.
The program allows one participant from the U.S. to partake in a work-experience program in Australia, while the participant from Australia will travel to Nashville to complete a work-experience program. Both Bowser and Hopkins will have a primary contact guide them throughout the four-week program, in which they will participate in internships and networking opportunities in the other’s country. Additionally, both participants will take part in power lunches with industry leaders and will have the opportunity to attend CMC Rocks festival in Australia and CMA Fest in Nashville.
Bowser is a recent graduate of Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business management. She has completed internships at multiple artist management companies, served as a production assistant, and worked at various concert venues. Bowser will begin her program in Australia later this month and will meet with music industry leaders and attend a CMA task force meeting, comprised of industry leaders in Australia working to promote country music in their territory.
Hopkins graduated from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia with a bachelor’s degree in business information systems and is currently a Material Coordinator for Nine Network Australia. Hopkins will come to Nashville in May to spend four weeks learning from music industry professionals, making visits to industry leaders and participating in a studio day with award-winning session musician Derek Wells.
“We are excited to see the country music industry in both Nashville and Australia come together to support and educate future leaders in the music business,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Julie and Megan have bright futures ahead of them in the music industry and we are looking forward to providing them a comprehensive look into the business through this program. We appreciate the companies and individuals who have played an integral role in making the Rob Potts International Exchange Program a reality, as we honor Rob’s legacy and contribution to the Country Music community.”
A celebrated Australian manager, promoter, country music champion and CMA Board member, Rob 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 Chugg Entertainment Chairman Michael Chugg AM. Their flagship, CMC Rocks Queensland, is now the biggest country festival in the Southern Hemisphere.
“My father worked for decades to break down the barriers between the U.S. and Australian Country Music industries and to back emerging talent on stage and behind the scenes,” says Jeremy Dylan, Potts Entertainment Chief Executive Officer. “The recipients we selected have enormous potential and will take full advantage of the opportunities this scholarship affords to fast track their deep understanding of the industry on an international scale and their place in it. Thanks to CMA for making this concept a reality and something Rob Potts would have been proud to see his name on.”