Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC), Nashville Music Equality, The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Wasserman Music have announced the second annual installment of their Maymester Music Accelerator Program.
Powered by Amazon Music, the program offers Black college students in Tennessee access to music industry leadership, mentorship and career resources. Over the course of three weeks, students will learn about a range of entertainment business aspects from touring and marketing to publishing and public relations.
Confirmed guest artists and speakers include Waka Flocka Flame, Madeline Edwards, Tim Gent, Bryant Taylorr and executives from AEG/Goldenvoice, Live Nation, National Museum of African American Music, Rolling Loud, Tri Star, Warner Music Nashville, Wasserman Music, WNXP and more.
This year’s program expands to include not only Tennessee State University (TSU), but also neighboring Fisk University—the oldest institution of higher learning in Nashville and highly ranked historically Black university. BMAC will once again bring in successful executives and artists in the music industry to guest lecture throughout the program. This installment will be sponsored by Primary Wave’s BMAC-James Brown Education Fund. At BMAC’s Music In Action Awards Gala, it was announced that the fund will cover the costs for 30 students to take this elective class for free.
The first Maymester Music Accelerator Program in 2022 placed students in internships across multiple companies, including Wasserman Music, Warner Music Nashville and LVRN. The last class was held at the National Museum of African American Music, where each student was surprised with their very own gold plaque from the RIAA.
“Tennessee State University is fortunate to have these music-related companies participating in our Maymester course. They bring deep content and wide contacts. From the beginning of this partnership, we identified a mutual goal, which is to provide real-world opportunities for students who otherwise might be under-represented in the music industry,” says Dr. Mark Crawford, TSU Commercial Music Program Coordinator.
BMAC Co-Founder & Co-Chairman Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, says of this year’s program, “While many have put the down the protest signs and lower the urgency around racial and social justice, Black Music Action Coalition is doubling down on our commitment to creating sustainable pipeline programs and providing real access for the next generation of music executives and artists, that have historically been denied access to the level of exposure and training that our music accelerator program provides. We were intentional about Tennessee State University being the hub for this program and with Nashville being such an important part of the music industry, it’s imperative that we are building programs like this right here down the street from Music Row. This year we expanded the music accelerator program to include Fisk University and the goal is to eventually have students from all 107 HBCUs to participate in this program annually.”
“What the Black Music Action Coalition is doing to bridge the racial gap in the music business is invaluable work,” says Gary Bushrod, Amazon Music Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. “As an HBCU graduate myself, I am extremely proud and energized by what the Music Accelerator Program is creating for students at Tennessee State and Fisk University.”