The Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM) proudly announced a new partnership to launch, sustain and support “OnRamp,” a guaranteed income program for 20 young, Black members of the music community, including artists and industry professionals, in Nashville, Tennessee. 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 professional development opportunities, community mentorship, and other opportunities to increase personal growth, industry exposure, 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.
Applications are now open for completion, with a submission deadline of Friday, April 28.
Please be aware that completion of the application cannot be paused in the middle for resumption at a later date, and some of the questions may require additional time or consideration – so you may want to scroll through the questions and take notes to draft and work on your answers before returning to formally and officially submit.
Specifically, candidates will be asked to introduce themselves, share what inspired them to pursue a music industry career and what has drawn them to apply to OnRamp, and discuss what they feel are current barriers to entry in the music industry in Nashville, as well as provide professional and/or personal references and utilize the Self-Sufficiency Standard Calculator to identify their financial need.
Additionally, candidates must be between 18-40 years old, African American, and a resident of the Greater Metro Nashville area (defined as residing in the following counties: Davidson, Dickson, Maury, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson).
Click here if you would like more information on how to become a mentor for the program.
Mentors will meet monthly with their mentees via Zoom or in-person. You do not need to be located in Nashville to mentor.
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.
Playing an active role in guiding the OnRamp program and bringing it to life will be the members of the ACM LEVel Up: Lift Every Voice program’s 2022 cohort. ACM LEVel Up is a widely-heralded, Nashville-based professional development and enrichment program for rising leaders in Country Music, funded entirely by the Academy of Country Music at no cost to participants. 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. In December 2022, the Academy announced the program’s 2023 cohort, representing an entirely new and unduplicated list of organizations from the 2022 inaugural class.
Last June, Black Music Action Coalition released a report, Three Chords & The ACTUAL Truth, which documented opportunities for improvement in Black representation and participation in the Country Music space. The report called for Music Row, the city of Nashville and its companies, organizations and individuals committed to change and equity to partner with BMAC in a transformational program for Black artists in Nashville. The Academy of Country Music is amongst the first industry leaders to recognize and help facilitate necessary changes within the music community.
The Academy of Country Music has always proudly stood, throughout its almost 60-year history, as a progressive, welcoming organization for all, including an active, community-leading commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion stretching across all facets of the industry. In its mission statement, the Academy’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative affirms a relentless commitment to creating a more inclusive environment for underrepresented groups, encompassing but not limited to, Black, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, LatinX and Women in the Country Music industry, from the boardroom to the stage.