The Academy of Country Music and the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) have announced the 20 members that will make up the inaugural class of their OnRamp Program, a guaranteed income program for young Black members of the Nashville music community.
The OnRamp program aims to empower the next generation of leaders in the early stages of their careers by granting access to professional development opportunities, community mentorship, and other resources to increase personal growth and industry exposure, including exclusive ACM membership panels and tentpole live events as well as visibility with the ACM Board and other industry leaders.
Half of this year’s class are artists and the other half consists of industry members ranging from attorneys and audio engineers to publicists and business managers. These rising musicians and industry professionals were all carefully selected from a robust pool of applicants. The inaugural class will be celebrated at a launch event at the Academy’s Music City headquarters, surrounded by ACM and BMAC leadership, Board members and industry supporters.
OnRamp programming officially begins shortly after the launch event. The first installment of the program’s monthly stipend will be delivered to participants’ accounts following the celebration. Upcoming programming for participants includes a celebratory mixer, regular team mentorship sessions and intensive quarterly workshops, focusing on critical industry areas such as artist development and production.
“Getting on that Zoom call with the 20 participants selected as the inaugural class of the BMAC x ACM OnRamp program was a powerful moment for me. So often we just talk about the issues, debate the problems and ideate around solutions, but that often doesn’t translate into direct action. BMAC issued a call-to-action to Music Row last June, and in less than 12 months, BMAC and the ACM developed and provided seed funding for a program that will begin to create true access and provide resources to young Black aspiring artists and professionals,” says BMAC Co-Founder & Co-Chair Willie “Prophet” Stiggers. “We are celebrating the third anniversary of The Show Must Be Paused by pressing play on a guaranteed income and mentorship program that will begin to level the playing field for the next generation of Black creatives.”
“I’m thrilled to be officially kicking off our OnRamp program, in partnership with the team at BMAC, and so excited to formally welcome these exceptional young professionals to our inaugural class, on behalf of the Academy Board of Directors and Officers, our DEI Task Force, our membership, and our staff. I’ve been eagerly looking forward to this moment for many months now, since we started envisioning and developing this program with our LEVel Up Rising Leaders cohort, and I’m particularly proud of the Academy for continuing our commitment and taking another impactful step, on behalf of our industry and Nashville community, towards making country music a welcoming and rewarding place for everyone,” says ACM CEO Damon Whiteside.
OnRamp Inaugural Class:
Erica Baker, Attorney
Jasmine Bavaro, Management & Audio Engineer
Tylar Bryant, Artist
Tatyana Carter, Artist Manager
Carmen Dianne, Artist
Larysa Jaye, Artist
The Kentucky Gentlemen, Artist
Chasidy Lauderdale, Business Management
Cameron Leavy-Thorn, Music Business Student
Tae Lewis, Artist
Roz Malone, Musician
Daisha McBride, Artist
Kim Ortiz, Music Licensing
Nina Teapot Owens, Creative Consultant
Nick Tabron, Artist
Kendall Warner, Artist
Dede Neahn West, Public Relations
Julie Williams, Artist
Amari Young, A&R
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