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WRTI Spotlight

Black Music City Returns for a Second Year. More Grants will Support Local Black Creatives

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The Black Music City project announced today—on Public Radio Music Day—that for a second year it will provide grants to Black creatives to produce more new artistic works inspired by Philadelphia’s rich Black music history. With additional funding being sought, it is anticipated that a total of nearly $100,000 will be awarded.

Black artists in the greater Philadelphia region (PA, NJ and DE) working in any creative medium can again apply for grants to help them create new projects that recognize and honor the influence of Philadelphia’s Black music history, known worldwide for having nurtured and developed many groundbreaking musical styles and artists. The deadline for applications is December 17, 2021.

A committee of Black Philadelphia professionals in the arts, media and business will review applications to select and award grants of between $1,000 and $3,500, to be announced February 1, 2022. Work completed and submitted by grantees will then be featured in specially produced Black Music City videos and a celebratory Juneteenth (June 19) event. The works will also be promoted by the project's partners to the broader Philadelphia arts community and beyond.

Black Music City—a collaboration between Philadelphia public radio music stations WXPN-FM and WRTI-FM, and REC Philly, a place for creators—launched in December 2020, and awarded $48,000 in grants to 23 local Black creatives, selected from more than 600 applicants, in February 2021.

“The success of Black Music City demonstrates our mission of community support and the collective strength and extensive reach of Philadelphia’s public radio music stations, through our many platforms,” said Bill Johnson, general manager for WRTI.

Roger LaMay, general manager for WXPN, said, “Thanks to new funding from the Wyncote Foundation and the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, we have increased the ability for Black Music City to give aspiring local creatives working in a variety of media the opportunity to represent and celebrate Black artistry in Philadelphia. We will continue to fundraise to serve more artists.”

Will Toms, co-founder and partner of REC Philly, said, “Black creatives, who have historically had a challenging time securing funding and mobilizing champions, can benefit from the financial and promotional support provided by Black Music City in getting their work in front of audiences.”

Full information about available grants, eligibility, submission deadlines and more is available at www.blackmusiccity.com. Follow and share about the project using #blackmusiccity.

About Black Music City Project Partners

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. Black Music City is made possible with support from Wyncote Foundation and the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy,