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.
OnRamp applications will be available starting in late Spring with the program starting in June, in celebration of Black Music Month and to commemorate the Black Music Action Coalition’s third anniversary. Interested candidates can click below to sign up for email notifications when applications are rolled out.
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.