National Museum of African American Music, Sony Music Group Announce Alliance

National Museum of African American Music Set to Open After Two Decade Process | Billboard News
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National Museum of African American Music Set to Open After Two Decade Process | Billboard News

Partnership’s initiatives include a Black music certification and scholarship program

Ahead of its Jan. 18 opening ceremony in Nashville, the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) has partnered with the Sony Music Group (SMG) in support of music education and other initiatives.

According to a release announcing the new alliance, SMG is the first music company to pledge its support of the museum’s mission. The announcement follows NMAAM’s recent acceptance of a $1 million donation from Amazon.

Developed through Sony Music’s Global Social Justice Fund, the partnership will initially establish the Sony Music Scholars Black Music Certification Program and Scholarship. NMAAM and SMG will collaborate on a curriculum, course and certification process that will introduce students to the music industry and related careers through Black history, music and culture.

SMG is also sponsoring the museum’s “Business Behind the Music” exhibit at launch, spotlighting Black music executives, record labels and publishers that have played a significant role in American history.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Sony Music Group to grow the museum and invest in the Nashville community,” said H. Beecher Hicks III, president/CEO of NMAAM. “Sony Music’s partnership helps us tell the unique story of Black music executives and also looks to the future to help create the next generation of leaders in music.”

“NMAAM is an important institution to Nashville and our entire industry,” said Towalame Austin, executive vp, philanthropy & social impact at Sony Music Group. “We’re very pleased that we can help bring the museum to life and further our shared mission of impacting communities through music education. By telling the complex, overlooked and expansive history of Black artists and songwriters across all genres of music in this country, NMAAM is adding to Nashville’s already rich and growing arts community, and is shining a light on key parts of our music history.”

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