In efforts toward empowering people of color in the music industry, Warner Music Group (WMG) is teaming up with Culture Creators for its 2023 HBCU Immersion Program. The initiative is geared towards directing HBCU students with the know-how in the music business.
Applicants must be a college junior, senior, or graduate student currently enrolled in an approved HBCU who has a strong interest in music. During the six weeks, students must commit to three hours every week, Black Enterprise reports.
April saw the inaugural WMG HBCU Immersion Program feature 32 students selected from over 150 applicants and now, plans are in motion for its next phase. In January 2023, applications will be accepted into an interactive six-week program.
“As a proud HBCU alum, I am thrilled about the creation of WMG’s HBCU Immersion Program,” said Dr. Maurice Stinnett, WMG, global head of diversity, equity and inclusion.
“HBCUs are full of talent, brilliance, and creativity—everything we need in the next generation of leaders in the music industry. I’m so proud to offer this training opportunity in partnership with Culture Creators, which I know will further strengthen the leadership, skills and innovation of these amazing students,” Stinnett added.
The Culture Creators curriculum program will see students beef up knowledge in five cutting-edge modules: artists and repertoire, marketing, data science, business development, and administration and licensing as well as career development and the nitty-gritty of the music business. The program will also feature weekly live virtual sessions, interactive learning activities and guest speaker panels.
After the program is successfully completed, each student can apply what they learned in the WMG’s Summer Emerging Talent Associate Program.
“The key to creating an equitable environment for students of color to learn, grow, and rise in the music business relies on executives and companies’ willingness to give them access and support,” says Joi Brown, founder of Culture Creators and head of strategic partnerships at ICM Partners.
She continued: “The WMG Immersion program provided access, leadership, education, and mentorship, not to mention opportunity to intern across all business units. We’re proud to have been co-conspirators in the program and looking forward to our next cohort of students to run through the program.”
Atlantic Records president Kevin Weaver stated, “It’s an honor to be able to support the growth of programs within our industry that create hands-on learning and give access to real-life opportunities. Through the program we also get to know these young adults personally, giving Warner Music Group the ability to tap into the next generation of future leaders at the ground floor. From here the potential opportunities are truly endless for all. The program is designed and run in close partnership between talent acquisition, DEI and business units; a special thank-you to [WMG manager, student programs] Vanessa Joseph and the teams that put this together.“