PHILADELPHIA (FEBRUARY 15, 2022): A total of $90,000 in grants is being awarded to 46 Black creatives in the greater Philadelphia area by the Black Music City project, it was announced today. Each recipient is receiving between $1,000 and $3,500 each to produce new artistic works inspired by Philadelphia’s rich Black music history. A special Juneteenth (June 19) event in Philadelphia during African American Music Appreciation Month will celebrate the grant winners and reveal their creations.

The unique purpose of Black Music City is to provide critical financial and promotional support to local Black artists, musicians and other creatives for new work that recognizes and honors the influence of Philadelphia’s legendary Black music history. Black Music City was established in December 2020 in a collaboration between Philadelphia public music radio stations WXPN-FM and WRTI-FM, and REC Philly, a place for creators. In its first year (2021), Black Music City distributed $48,000 in grants to 23 individuals.

For 2022, the Black Music City project offered nearly double that amount in order to double the number of participants. Following the January 17 deadline, the final list of grant recipients was determined by the Black Music City Selection Committee, composed of:

  • Ivan Barias – GRAMMYⓇ-nominated producer and songwriter
  • Dame and Yaya Horne – Co-Founders, Creative Director and CEO, Tiny Rooms for Elephants
  • Nile Livingston – Founder, Creative Repute LLC, Graphic Design and Website Development
  • Chill Moody – Hip-Hop Artist, City of Philadelphia Music Ambassador
  • Donn Thompson Morelli (“Donn T”) – President, The Recording Academy, Philadelphia Chapter 
  • Gerald Veasley – President, Jazz Philadelphia
  • Dyana Williams – CEO, Influence Entertainment and Award-Winning Broadcaster

“These grant winners’ innovative new creative works will demonstrate the indelible influence of Philadelphia Black music history, in addition to their own soaring talents,” said Selection Committee Member Donn Thompson Morelli (“Donn T”).

The grantees’ work on their new creative projects will begin immediately. Artist and Black Music City 2022 host The Bul Bey will spotlight some of the grantees’ journeys to complete their projects in a video series to be posted on More details about the Juneteenth celebration spotlighting these grant winners and their new projects will be forthcoming.

The 2022 Black Music City grant recipients, their new artistic projects and grant amounts are:

  • Jay Fluellen, Elkins Park, PA / Symphony for McCoy Tyner for Musicopia String Orchestra ($2,500) – Music
  • Zeek Burse, Philadelphia / La La La The Evolution of Love ($2,500) – Music, visual art
  • Fareed Simpson-Hankins, Philadelphia / Saxophone City ($3,500) – Music
  • Pheralyn Dove, Philadelphia / Honoring Philadelphia’s Heath Brothers ($3,500) – Music, video, photography
  • E. Ockimey, Philadelphia / Growing, Blossoming and Producing as a Philadelphia Musician ($2,000) – Painting, photography, storytelling
  • Conrad Burgos, Jr., Philadelphia / House Music in the City of Brotherly Love ($2,500) – Video, photography, illustration
  • Laurin Telese, Philadelphia / Stan Getz: Bossa & Brotherly Love ($2,500) – Music 
  • Timothy Welbeck, Philadelphia / Shades of Trane ($3,000) – Music 
  • Kerrin Lyons, Philadelphia / Who Is Jill Scott? Sights & Sounds ($2,000) – Photography, video, illustration
  • Anthony Smith, Allentown, PA / Music Legend Teddy Pendergrass ($1,000) – Mixed media
  • Samantha Rise, Philadelphia / The Rosetta Project ($2,000) – Music 
  • Micah Graves, Philadelphia / For McCoy ($1,500) – Music 
  • Devona Melton, Philadelphia / Wake Up Everybody ($2,000) – Mixed media
  • Ebony Bennett, Philadelphia / Portrait of Jill Scott ($1,000) – Painting
  • Brent White, Philadelphia / The Francis Johnson Project ($2,000) – Music 
  • Yomi Belson, Philadelphia / Philadelphia Soul Group The Nu’Rons ($2,000) – Music
  • Rachel K. Godfrey, Philadelphia / The Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change: Liberian Musicians in the Greater Philadelphia Region ($2,000) – Music, poetry, photography
  • Inga Kimberly Brown, Philadelphia / Time Periods of Black Music Makers and Musicians of Philadelphia ($1,500) – Painting
  • Eboni Pierce, Philadelphia / Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and Teddy Pendergrass ($2,500) – Music
  • Gilletta McGraw, Philadelphia / Doo Wop Corners & Uncelebrated Philadelphian Musicians of the 20th Century ($2,000) – Music
  • Isaiah Gaymon, Philadelphia  / Black Love Through the Lens of Music by Philly Artists ($2,000) –Photography
  • Michael C. Strickland, Jr., Philadelphia / My Hometown ($2,000) – Music
  • Kyle Dixon, Broomall, PA / Tribute to The Legendary Roots Crew ($2,500) – Mixed media mural
  • Dasha Saintremy, Philadelphia / Ode to Neo-Soul ($1,000) – Podcast, spoken word, poetry
  • Angel Hogan, Philadelphia / Because of Them: Contemporary Artists Reflect on the Music & Musicians That Inspired the Craft ($2,000) – Video
  • Marcus Bryant, Philadelphia / Tribute to Philadelphia’s Best Musicians and Producers ($2,000) –Music
  • Danielle Johnson, Philadelphia / Tribute to Jill Scott ($1,000) – Music
  • Dwight Dunston, Philadelphia / Philadelphia’s Francis Johnson ($2,.000) – Poetry, music, art
  • Kelsi Bolden, Sicklerville, NJ / Sacred Gospel Compositions of Charles Albert Tindley ($2,000) –Music, video
  • Elijah Jennings-Gurdy, Philadelphia / Honoring Malik B of The Legendary Roots Crew ($1,000) – Music, video
  • Debra Powell-Wright, Aldan/Clifton Heights, PA / Philly Jawns Sing: Tribute to Nina Simone ($1,500) – Music
  • Sarahn Sakofa, Philadelphia / Philadelphia Soul Era: Late 1960s-1970s ($1,000) – Video, illustrationVal Gay, Philadelphia / The Healing Power of The Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) and Philly’s Black Music ($2,000) – Music
  • Namarah McCall, Philadelphia / Tribute to Billie Holiday ($2,000) – Music
  • Mz Icar, Philadelphia / Her Word: Honoring the Legacy of Philadelphia’s Female Lyricists ($1,000) – Mixed media
  • TS Hawkins, Philadelphia / Community Capital: An Afrofuturism South Philly Walking Experience ($2,000) – Audio
  • Christa Barfield, Philadelphia / Sound Greenhouse: The Healing Music of MFSB and Other Philly Artists ($2,000) – Installation, audio
  • Qil Jones, Philadelphia / Legacy of Sun Ra’s Afrofuturism in Philadelphia ($2,000) – Jewelry, wearable art 
  • Malachi Lily, Philadelphia / Beast & Beloved: The Legacy of Sun Ra & His Arkestra ($2,000) – Music
  • Oluwamuyiwa Togun, Philadelphia / Honoring & Reinterpreting Patti LaBelle’s Fashions ($1,500) – Fabric art
  • Jamicka Johnson-Hector, Philadelphia / Continuing Philadelphia’s Neo-Soul Legacy ($2,000) – Music
  • Rashawn Frisby, Philadelphia / Tribute to Moe Brooker ($2,000) – Clothing, mixed media
  • Erica Jones, Wilmington, DE / 3-D Portrait of Lee Morgan ($1,000) – Painting
  • Qiaira Riley, Philadelphia / Tribute to ‘Who Is Jill Scott: Words and Sounds, Vol. 1’ ($2,000) – Ceramics
  • Deja Logan, Philadelphia / Creation and Impact of the Philadelphia Clef Club ($1,000) – Visual art
  • Brother Anwar Butler, Philadelphia / Rhapsody Behind the Lens with Philadelphia-born Jazz trumpeter Duane Eubanks  ($2,500) – Video

More information about Black Music City is available at Follow and share about the project using #blackmusiccity.

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About Black Music City 

Launched in December 2020, Black Music City is a project designed to honor Philadelphia’s rich Black music history by inspiring and supporting today’s Black creatives. Black Music City is a collaboration between WXPN-FM, the non-commercial music radio service of the University of Pennsylvania; WRTI-FM, the non-commercial music radio service of Temple University; and REC Philly, an ecosystem that empowers independent creators. In its first year, Black Music City awarded $48,000 in grants to 23 local Black creatives who were selected from more than 600 applicants. Black Music City is made possible with support from Wyncote Foundation, the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.