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Black Music City will support and promote new work made by local Black creatives

PHILADELPHIA (DECEMBER 14, 2020): A new project called Black Music City will provide grants to Black creatives to produce new artistic works inspired by Philadelphia’s rich Black music history. The Black Music City project is a collaboration between Philadelphia public music radio stations WXPN-FM and WRTI-FM and REC Philly, a place for creators.

Black artists in the greater Philadelphia region (PA, NJ and DE) working in any creative medium are encouraged to apply for available grants to help them create new projects that recognize and honor the influence of Philadelphia’s Black music history, which is known worldwide for having nurtured and developed many groundbreaking musical styles and artists. The deadline for applications is January 25, 2021.

Roger LaMay, general manager for WXPN, who initiated the project, said, “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.”

A committee of Black Philadelphia professionals in the arts, media and business will select and award grants of between $1,000 and $3,500 (a total of more than $30,000 in available grants) in late February. Work completed and submitted by May 27 will then be featured in videos that spotlight the grant recipients and the journeys of their creations.

Will Toms, co-founder and partner of REC Philly, said, “Black creatives have historically had a challenging time securing funding and mobilizing champions to help get their work in front of audiences. This project, with its collaborative outreach and videos that will be produced to prominently showcase and promote their work, offers these critical elements.” “Our partnership highlights the collective strength and extensive reach of Philadelphia’s public media music stations, through our many platforms, to the broader arts community and beyond,” said Bill Johnson, general manager for WRTI. Exhibition and distribution of the videos and final artwork will take place during June, which is African American Music Appreciation Month.

Funding for Black City Music is being made possible by the Wyncote Foundation. Full information about available grants, eligibility, timeline, deadlines and more are available at Follow and share about the project using #blackmusiccity.

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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.