Announcing Black Music City: A project to showcase and support Black artists
It’s no secret that Philadelphia’s Black music community has a rich history — its influential legacy has reached far beyond our city. But it’s historically been more difficult for Black artists to access funding for their work and reach wider audiences. To help foster a new generation of local Black artists, WXPN has partnered with WRTI and REC Philly for Black Music City.
The project will provide grants to Black artists in the greater Philadelphia area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Artists working in all mediums are encouraged to apply for the grants, which range from $1,000 to $3,500, with a total of over $30,000 available. Recipients will be selected by a committee of local Black professionals in the arts, media and business — including Black Music Month co-founder Dyana Williams, rapper Chill Moody, activist and business owner Ashley Coleman, Fox 29’s Alex Holley, jazz guitarist Gerald Veasley, and art collective Tiny Room for Elephants’ Damion Ward and Yaya Horne.
“Our goal is to give aspiring local creatives in every field — musicians, illustrators, muralists, dancers, spoken word artists, and more — the opportunity to represent and celebrate Black artistry in Philadelphia,” says XPN General Manager Roger LaMay.
Grant recipients will spend the spring working on their funded projects, which will then be showcased in June — just in time for African American Music Appreciation Month. Each artist will also be featured in a video spotlighting their creative journey, hosted by writer and musician Suzann Christine.
“Black creatives have historically had a challenging time securing funding and mobilizing champions to help get their work in front of audiences,” says REC Philly co-founder Will Toms. “This project, with its collaborative outreach and videos that will be produced to prominently showcase and promote their work, offers these critical elements.”
Black City Music is made possible with support from the Wyncote Foundation. More information on available grants, eligibility, deadlines, the judges for the program, and more can be found at blackmusiccity.com. Follow along with the project on the #blackmusiccity hashtag.