Wasserman Music, Black Music Action Coalition and Tennessee State University Create Music Accelerator ProgramMarch 24, 2022
Wasserman Music, Black Music Action Coalition and Tennessee State University Create Music Accelerator Program
Wasserman Music, Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) and the Commercial Music Program at Tennessee State University (TSU) today announced their inaugural Music Accelerator Program, with essential local collaboration and contributions by Nashville Music Equality and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
The Music Accelerator Program is a three-week educational program during TSU’s Maymester mini-semester that runs from May 9th — 26th, providing a class of approximately 20 TSU students with an intensive curriculum in various disciplines across the music business, from songwriting and copyrights to publishing, labels, marketing, touring, publicity and beyond. Registration for the Music Accelerator Program opens on Monday, March 28, and the course is open to all TSU students.
The program will feature guest lectures from influential music executives, along with internship placements for students looking to start their career paths across multiple music industry companies, including Wasserman Music and Quality Control Music. Speakers confirmed include Post Malone manager Dre London, Artistry Group founder/CEO Max Gousse, Roddy Ricch manager Shawn Holiday, EMPIRE product manager Russell Barrett, Revels Group manager Jamil Davis, and Wasserman Music agents Lee Anderson, Lenore Kinder, Callender, Chappel McCollister and Mallory Smith. Additional guest speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Lindsay LaBennett, Senior Director of Inclusion, Equity & Diversity at Wasserman, explains, “In recognizing the need for more diverse representation across all areas of the music industry, we want to inform, educate and expose the next generation of leaders with our specialized industry insight and intelligence.”
The initiative is one of many commitments Wasserman Music has made via their partnership with Color of Change and their #ChangeMusic platform. The agency plans to expand the program to other historically Black colleges and universities in future years. YouTube, in partnership with 353 Media Group, will be supporting this initiative by capturing content from the program to showcase its impact and encourage additional partners and universities to participate in the future.
“The launch of this program is one step in Wasserman’s commitment to doing the work to create real change in this industry,” said Lee Anderson, EVP and Managing Executive at Wasserman Music. ” We couldn’t ask for a better partner to work with than BMAC, whose values and goals perfectly align with ours in this effort. We look forward to expanding this program to other schools in the years ahead.”
Wasserman Music Senior Vice President Lenore Kinder adds, “We’re excited about kicking off our program with TSU here in Nashville and working with Nashville Music Equality to help prepare these promising students to launch successful music industry careers. Our aim is to help grow the next generation of industry leaders to create a lasting impact on the music business.”
Dr. Robert L. Elliott, Head of the Department of Music at Tennessee State University, said, “Tennessee State University has one of the longest established Commercial Music degree programs in the country, not to mention HBCUs. We are extremely pleased to join all of the program partners in this activity to expand equity of access and participation within all parts of the music industry to students, who upon graduation, have too often found themselves marginalized and shut out from full participation. The partners in this activity are truly working to help shift the paradigm of inclusion and equity within all parts of the music industry, and TSU and its students are proud to be a part of this historic change.”
Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, co-founder and co-chair of BMAC, said, “Black Music Action Coalition is committed to breaking down barriers, creating access and opportunities and leveling the playing field for the next generation of Black Executives and creatives. This partnership with Wasserman Music and TSU is the beginning of a movement that will grow and further expand to colleges across the country. Not only are we ensuring meaningful paid internships with support services like housing and transportation but to have the opportunity to bring in subject matter experts and industry leaders to conduct in-person classes will be invaluable to the students.”
Additional program partners include the International Entertainment Buyers Association, Spotify, the Country Music Association, SOLID Nashville, Sony Music, and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
ABOUT WASSERMAN MUSIC
Wasserman Music represents a world-class roster of artists for live performance, touring, brand partnerships and beyond, empowering them to create culture and impact audiences globally. The passionate, entrepreneurial agents at Wasserman Music are long-term artist development strategists who build significant, global platforms for the world’s most impactful artists. Wasserman Music is a division of Wasserman, a partner to the world’s most iconic sports figures, musical artists, brands, and properties.
ABOUT TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research-intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.
ABOUT BLACK MUSIC ACTION COALITION
Tuesday June 2, 2020, the music industry went silent for one day to join the fight for equality as part of #BlackOutTuesday…the day the show paused!. This movement spread beyond the music business and inspired tens of millions worldwide to follow suit. Galvanized by this historic moment, close to 200 preeminent artist managers, attorneys, business managers, agents and other industry executives signed up to join forces, instituting and introducing the first-ever BLACK MUSIC ACTION COALITION. Together, these individuals form one common voice, representing the interests of artists, producers, songwriters and executives. This illustrious cadre of industry heavyweights notably represents artists who comprise a majority of the industry’s revenue. This advocacy organization endeavors to uphold and actualize the mission of Black Lives Matter in the music industry and reach racial justice not just across record labels, publishers, agencies, distributors, and DSP’s but throughout society at large. BMAC works together with various business leaders to hold their companies accountable and implement a system of checks and balances to ensure change takes root. The group fosters and shepherds various educational, mental health, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, policing, social justice, and political causes that directly impact Black communities. In 2021, BMAC released the first annual Music Industry Action report card that measured and assessed the music industry’s progress toward achieving racial justice and equity. To commemorate the report card, BMAC also held its inaugural Music In Action Awards Gala to honor musicians, activists and industry professionals who have used their platforms to enact change within the music industry and broader society. The Weeknd, H.E.R., Ethiopia Habtemariam, Ben Crump and more were honored for their contributions to change.