Singer-songwriter and Apple Music’s Color Me Country radio host, Rissi Palmer, has partnered with the Rainey Day Fund, helmed by music journalist Kelly McCartney, to create a fund to support underrepresented voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) artists in country music. The fund is called The Color Me Country Artist Fund.
McCartney created the Rainey Day Fund, named after legendary blues artist Ma Rainey, in 2018 to assist BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled artists, as well as others who add to the rich fabric of roots music. With a similar mission, Palmer recognized a real problem in the country music industry. The Color Me Country Fund was born to bring the Black, Indigenous, and Latinx histories of country music to the forefront.
“As an artist, I’ve experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I know what it’s like to have to choose between eating and paying rent, to work a 9-to-5, then pull an all-nighter in the studio to get closer to the dream of being a self-sustaining musician,” says Palmer. “Any success I have achieved has been because of the kindness of others and their belief in me, and I want to pay it forward. The Color Me Country Artist Fund will be an extension of the work I do with my radio show to further the careers of artists of color in the country music space. I don’t want anyone’s dreams deferred because of financial hardships. 100% of the funds will go to artists in need. I thank Kelly McCartney and the Rainey Day Fund for planting the seed.”
“Between our seed funding and a recent donation from Brandi Carlile‘s Looking Out Foundation, we have gifted grants to Yola, Birds of Chicago, Tré Burt, Joy Oladokun, Brittney Spencer, Jontavious Willis, and others, while also creating an Indigenous Music Scholarship with Folk Alliance International,” McCartney says of the Rainey Day Fund. “Seeing the work that Rissi was doing in the country music space, it just made sense to create a specific Color Me Country program to support the artists on those fringes, as well. Together, we’re being the change we wish to see in the music world.”
Palmer’s Color Me Country Apple Music radio show has included guests Miko Marks, Crystal Shawanda, Kamara Thomas, Mickey Guyton, Darius Rucker and more. McCartney, who hosts Southern Craft Radio on Apple Music, has featured Brandy Clark, Larkin Poe, Jason Isbell, JOHNNYSWIM, The War and Treaty, Tanya Tucker, and more.