In its third year, the Black Music City Project offers $125,000 in grants for new artistic works - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

PHILADELPHIA (NOVEMBER 15, 2022): For the third consecutive year, the Black Music City project is providing financial and promotional support to local Black creatives. A total of $125,000, a significantly higher amount than has been previously offered, will be distributed in grants of between $1,500 and $5,000 each, reflecting the project’s continuing growth in participation, sponsorship and funding.

The Black Music City project encourages Black artists in the greater Philadelphia region (PA, NJ, DE) working in any creative medium to apply for grants to help them create new work that honors the influence of Philadelphia’s Black music history, known worldwide for having nurtured and developed multiple groundbreaking musical styles and many artists. The deadline for applications is January 10, 2023

A committee of Black Philadelphia professionals in the arts, media and business will review applications to select and award the Black Music City grants, which will be announced March 9, 2023. Work completed and submitted by grant winners will be featured in expository Black Music City videos and a special public event during June, which is celebrated as Black Music Appreciation Month. 

The works will also be promoted by the project’s three partners – Philadelphia public radio music stations WXPN-FM and WRTI-FM, and REC Philly, a place for creators – to the broader Philadelphia arts community and beyond. The partners launched the collaborative Black Music City project in December 2020, and awarded $48,000 in grants of between $1,000 and $3,500 to 23 local Black creatives in 2021. The 2022 project doubled the amount offered, awarding $90,000 in grants of the same size to 46 Black creatives in the greater Philadelphia area.

Roger LaMay, general manager for project partner WXPN, said, “Due to the enthusiasm that the first two years has generated, Black Music City is now able to attract more sponsors and award larger grants to facilitate the artistic progress of local Black creatives, who have historically faced more challenges in securing financial and promotional support.”

Bill Johnson, general manager of partner WRTI, said, “Black Music City demonstrates our public radio and partner mission of community support, a key element of which is helping artists get their work exposed to more audiences through our many platforms.”

Will Toms, co-founder of project partner REC Philly, said, “We are committed to growing Black Music City as a local artist support program that continues to elevate our community of incredibly talented Black creatives.”

Lead support for Black Music City 2023 is provided through a grant from the William Penn Foundation.

Full information about available grants, eligibility, submission deadlines and more is available at Follow and share by using #blackmusiccity.

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About Black Music City 

Black Music City is a project that recognizes and honors Philadelphia’s rich Black music history by inspiring and supporting today’s Black creatives. Established in 2020, Black Music City is a collaboration between WXPN-FM, the noncommercial, public radio music service of the University of Pennsylvania; WRTI-FM, the noncommercial, public radio music service of Temple University; and REC Philly, an ecosystem that empowers independent creators. 

About William Penn Foundation

The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that increase educational opportunities for children from low-income families, ensure a sustainable environment, provide inclusive and equitable public spaces and arts and culture experiences, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. Learn more at

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