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Wasserman Music, BMAC Team Up For HBCU Music Accelerator Program

The three-week program will provide a class of approximately 20 Tennessee State University students with an intensive curriculum in various music business disciplines.

Wasserman Music and Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) have teamed up for a music accelerator program at HBCU Tennessee State University (TSU). The program is in partnership with TSU’s Commercial Music 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 that will take place during TSU’s “Maymester” mini-semester that runs from May 9-26. The program will provide 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.

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“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,” said Wasserman Music senior director of inclusion, equity and diversity Lindsay LaBennett.

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. Confirmed speakers 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, De’Mont Callender, Chappel McCollister and Mallory Smith. Additional guest speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

“This partnership with Wasserman Music and TSU is the beginning of a movement that will grow and further expand to colleges across the country,” said BMAC co-founder and co-chair Willie “Prophet” Stiggers in a release. “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.”

The initiative is one of many commitments Wasserman Music has made via its partnership with civil rights nonprofit Color of Change and its #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.

“Tennessee State University has one of the longest established Commercial Music degree programs in the country, not to mention HBCUs,” said TSU head of the department of music Dr. Robert L. Elliott. “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.”

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.

Registration for the Music Accelerator Program, which is open to all TSU students, opens on Monday.