The ACM and The Black Music Action Coalition have announced the opening of applications for its OnRamp program, which is a partnership for a guaranteed income program for 20 young, Black members of the music community, including artists and industry professionals, in Nashville.
The OnRamp program, focused on improving inclusivity and equity within Music City, aims to empower the next generation of leaders in the early stages of their careers by granting access to personal and professional development opportunities, community mentorship, industry exposure, access to exclusive Academy membership panels and tentpole live events, and visibility with Academy Board members and industry leaders. Additionally, through the program, each participant will receive a $1,000 monthly stipend for one year.
To qualify, applicants must identify as African-American, be a resident of the Greater Metro Nashville area (Davidson, Dickson, Maury, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties), and demonstrate financial need as determined by the Self Sufficiency Calculator. OnRamp applications close Friday, April 28 and candidates accepted into the program will be notified in June, when the program will begin in tandem with the celebration of Black Music Month and to commemorate the Black Music Action Coalition’s third anniversary. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply at acmcountry.com/onramp by April 28.
“The Academy has a rich history of fostering diversity and inclusion in the country music industry both on stage and behind-the-scenes, and we see this partnership as a particularly impactful way to continue our committed work to making the statement ‘Country Music is for Everyone’ a true reality,” says ACM CEO, Damon Whiteside, at the launch of the program. “We’re excited to work with BMAC on this pivotal and transformative work for our Nashville community by increasing opportunities for young professionals from diverse backgrounds in our industry.”
“It speaks volumes for the Black Music Action Coalition and the Academy of Country Music to join forces to launch a guaranteed income program in Nashville for emerging Black artists and young professionals. I applaud Damon Whiteside, the ACM Board and the Level Up team for sharing our vision and becoming true partners with BMAC on a direct impact solution that will begin to address long standing racial inequalities that exist in this country,” shares Co-Founder/Co-Chair of the Black Music Action Coalition, Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, at the launch of the program.
This inaugural program will initially be funded by the Black Music Action Coalition, the Academy of Country Music, and industry partners, and powered by social impact agency BreatheWithMe. The organizations are encouraging corporations and companies operating in Nashville and beyond to make a financial contribution to OnRamp as a means of powering their future equity and inclusion programs. OnRamp is one of many guaranteed income programs BMAC will be announcing throughout the year.
The members of the ACM LEVel Up: Lift Every Voice program’s 2022 cohort will be playing an active role in guiding the OnRamp program and bringing it to life. The two-year curriculum is designed to empower participants to play a pivotal role in expanding the horizons of country music into new audiences that transcend demographics and geography.
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