Honoring Philadelphia's rich Black music history by inspiring today's creatives.

Black Music City recognizes and honors the influence of Philadelphia Black music history and is a collaboration between Philadelphia public music radio stations WXPN-FM and WRTI-FM and REC Philly. On Juneteenth we celebrate and honor 23 granters winners with live music, storytelling, and a gallery of artwork.

Upcoming Live Stream

Hosted by REC Philly & WXPN & WRTI

Saturday, June 19th

12:30PM

Members only

GRANT WINNERS

click recipient name for more information

black music city - Shekhina $1,000 – Digital Art (photography, videography, illustration)

Honoring the late and great Tammi Terrell.

Click Here to View the Final Video

 

$3,500 – Other

Honoring Black Lily at the Five Spot.

Click Here to View the Final Video

$3,000 – Other

Honoring Bilal for his amazing work on the original record of “Soul Sista” but most of all this diverse, multimedia project will honor the strength, soulfulness, beauty, and brilliance of the Black Philly Woman!

 

$3,500 – Music (song, project)

The legacy and Compositional work of pianist and composer Trudy Pitts

Click Here to View Final Project

$2,500 Physical Art (painting, drawing, sculpture)

Marian Anderson, The American Contralto who was denied the stage at Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1939 because of her race.

$1,000 – Alternative Audio (podcast, spoken word)

Honoring Black Lily Women in Music Series & The Philadelphia Soul Movement of the Late 90s and Early 2000s

Click Here to Listen

$1,000 – Digital Art (photography, videography, illustration)

Honoring the evolution and influence of Philadelphia musicians.

$1,000 – Music (song, project)

Honoring the Late and Great Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Click Here to View Final Video

 

 

$2500 – Digital Art (photography, videography, illustration)

Exploring the role social justice advocacy (ie, protesting, fundraising, volunteering) played with Philly musicians though their lyrics and actions.

Click Here to View the Final Project

$1,500 – Music (song, project)

Honoring Rufus Harley Jr. The World’s First Jazz Bagpiper.

Click Here to View the Final Project

$3,500 – Woodwork, poetry, aerosol painting

Honoring Tammi Terrell & Teddy Pendergrass

$1,000 – Physical Art (painting, drawing, sculpture)

Honoring the legendary music group The Delfonics.

$2,000 – Music (song, project)

We are celebrating the Black Dance bands and dancers of Philadelphia during the 30s and 40s

 

$2,500 – Book/Zine/Print publication

Honoring Philadelphia’s Music and Arts culture through a creative approach to journalism and publishing.

Click Here to View Magazine

$2,500 – Digital Art (photography, videography, illustration)

“Before Me” honors six musicians from Philadelphia who came before me in time. By choosing to create images of these late artists, I have brought them before me and others in the present. I aim to depict their immortality and timelessness through an Afro-Futurist landscape.

$2,500 – Music (song, project)

Honoring Lee Morgan and the Philly contribution to hard bop jazz music.

 

$1,000 – Music (song, project)

Honoring Phyllis Hyman

$2,500 Music (song, project)

Honoring Bassist – Ronnie Baker, Guitarist – Norman Harris, – Drummer Earl Young (The unsung Rhythm Section that helped create the early Philly sound)

Click here to View the Final Project

$1,000 – Physical Art (painting, drawing, sculpture)

“Ààro méta” is a Yoruba saying that refers to three stones representing stability, wisdom and unity. This piece will be an abstract, mixed-media painting on canvas that depicts 3 prominent black female musicians who have been and/or are known as pillars of the Philadelphia music and creative community.

Click Here to View the Final Project

$2,500 – Music (song, project)

Honoring Philadelphia’s own, Marian Anderson; The Contribution of Blacks in Classical Music.

Click here to View the Final Project

$1,000 – Physical Art (painting, drawing, sculpture)

Honoring Philly Soul (In A Time When Music Filled Your Every Moment)

$2,000 – Digital Art (photography, videography, illustration)

Through photography and videography, I’m honoring the lasting contributions that Black women from Philly have made in music from Billie Holiday to Tierra Whack.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Having nurtured numerous groundbreaking musical styles and artists, and been at the forefront of some of the world’s most significant musical developments, Philadelphia’s rich Black music history will be the source of inspiration and interpretation by today’s Black creatives.

Black Music City is a program that calls upon Black creatives in the greater Philadelphia area (PA, NJ, DE) working in any creative medium to submit their project ideas honoring Philly’s Black music history and apply for a project grant. Selected artists will receive a minimum of $1,000 each to bring their projects to life. A committee of prominent Black Philadelphia professionals in the arts, media, and business will judge the final round of applicants to be awarded the more than $30,000 in grant funding available.

Black Music City is hosted by Suzann Christine and will produce videos that spotlight each grant recipient and document the journey of their project. All final work will be showcased during African American Music Appreciation Month in June 2021.

JUDGING CRITERIA

Each category is scored on a 1 to 10 scale by our selection committee

  • Storytelling & Theme: the project will tell a clear, significant & relevant story that fits the theme of this program
  • Creativity: the project will be originally produced in a unique, innovative style
  • Personal Opinion: the selector really enjoys the concept/idea of the project submission
  • Past Work/Resume: does the applicant have a background that proves they can accomplish their vision

Requirements

Applicants must be

  • African American/Black
  • 18 Years or older
  • Residing or working in the Greater Philadelphia area: PA, NJ, DE
  • Able to complete the work by May 27, 2021
  • Available periodically from February through May for recorded check-ins with the BMC team
  • Available to participate in the concluding event in June 2021

TIMELINE

December 14th - January 25th

Grant applications are open

Late February

Grant winners selected

March - May

Winners create their project
using grant funding

May 27th

Work completion
and submission

June

Exhibition and distribution
of final projects

December 14th - January 25th

Late February

March - May

May 27th

June

Grant applications are open

Grant winners are selected

Winners create their project using grant funding

Work completion and submission

Exhibition and distribution of final projects

APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED

Applications for this project are now closed. Our Selection Committee will be selecting the grant winners in late February. Stay tuned!

Selection comMittee

Dyana Williams

Award-winning broadcaster and CEO of Influence Entertainment
Alex Holley of Fox 29

Alex Holley

Fox 29 Good Day Philadelphia Anchor/Co-Host

Gerald Veasley

President, Jazz Philadelphia

Ashley Coleman Thomas

Senior Membership & Project Manager, Philadelphia Chapter of the Recording Academy

Chill Moody

Hip-hop Artist, Philadelphia’s Music Ambassador
Dame & Yaya Horne of Tiny Rooms For Elephants

Dame + Yaya Horne

Creative Director + CEO, Co-founders, Tiny Rooms For Elephants

DYANA WILLIAMS

Award-winning broadcaster and CEO of Influence Entertainment
Alex Holley of Fox 29

Alex Holley

Fox 29 Good Day Philadelphia Anchor/Co-Host

Gerald Veasley

President, Jazz Philadelphia

Ashley Coleman Thomas

Senior Membership & Project Manager, Philadelphia Chapter of the Recording Academy

CHILL MOODY

Hip-hop Artist, Philadelphia’s Music Ambassador
Dame & Yaya Horne of Tiny Rooms For Elephants

Damion + Yaya Horne

Creative Director + CEO, Co-founders, Tiny Rooms For Elephants

PARTNERS

SPONSORS

FAQ

Our goal is to showcase the breadth and depth of Black artistry in our area. Creatives working in any medium are encouraged to submit their ideas. This may include but is not limited to: 

  • alternative audio (podcast, spoken word) 
  • cinematic art
  • decorative arts (enamelwork, mosaic)
  • music (as composition)
  • performing arts (theatre, dance, music)
  • photography
  • sculpture
  • textile or fabric art
  • written (poetry, drama, story)
  • visual or graphic arts created in physical or digital format (painting, drawing, illustration, mural)
Any genre that connects to Philadelphia’s Black music history.

You will be expected to check in periodically with the project coordinators about your progress and to participate in check-in videos that will be shown publicly on partner websites and social media channels. Your project must be completed and ready to be shared publicly by May 27, 2021. You will also be involved in the final project showcase in June 2021.

Grant awards are $1000 per project but could be more (up to $3,500) based on a review of the justification provided with the application. 

You may use the money in any way that is needed. Grant requests in excess of $1,000 require written explanation supporting the need for additional funds. 

50% of the grant money will be provided to start the project. The remaining funds will be distributed at the conclusion of the project.

Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements and complete the application form. All project descriptions will be reviewed and rated according to the following criteria:

    • Storytelling & Theme: the project will tell a clear, significant & relevant story that fits the theme of this program
    • Creativity: the project will be produced in a unique, innovative style
    • Personal Opinion: the selector really enjoys the concept/idea of the project submission
    • Past Work/Resume: the applicant’s past work proves they can accomplish their vision

Applicants must be:

  • African American/Black
  • 18 Years or older
  • Residing or working in the Greater Philadelphia area: PA, NJ, DE
  • Able to complete the work by May 27, 2021
  • Available periodically from February through May for recorded check-ins with the BMC team
  • Available to participate in the concluding event in June 2021

No – only one application per individual.

Black Music City sponsorships are available and include on-air opportunities on public radio stations WXPN and WRTI as well as other project assets. A portion of sponsorship dollars are used to help fund the grants.

 If you are interested in sponsoring Black Music City, please contact [email protected]

Black Music City is a collaboration between WXPN, the non-commercial radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, WRTI, the non-commercial music radio service of Temple University and REC Philly, A Place for Creators.

If you are selected to receive a financial award and to create an original work of art, music, and/or other copyrightable creative work of authorship (the “Creative Work”), you will retain ownership of your Creative Work and all copyright(s), moral rights, and other intellectual property rights in and to your Creative Work. However, by submitting this application, in consideration for your selection as a Black Music City Artist, the publicity and other benefits that may inure to you as a result of your selection, and the financial award you will receive to create the Creative Work, you hereby irrevocably grant to each of The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, owner and operator of WXPN-FM (“WXPN”), Temple University, owner and operator of WRTI-FM (“WRTI”), and REC Philly LLC (“REC Philly”), jointly and severally:
 
  1. for a period ending on [December 31, 2021] , an exclusive, royalty-free, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide right and license (with the right to sublicense to third persons), to reproduce in print, film, video, sound, broadcast, cable, satellite, electronic and digital media, and all other mediums now known or hereafter created, prepare derivative works from, publicly distribute, publicly display, and publicly perform (including but not limited to publicly perform via digital audio transmission), the Creative Work, for any purpose;
  2. beginning [January 1, 2022] , a nonexclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide right and license (with the right to sublicense to third persons), to reproduce in print, film, video, sound, broadcast, cable, satellite, electronic and digital media, and all other mediums now known or hereafter created, and create derivative works from, the Creative Work, for any purpose;
  3. beginning on the date you submit this application, a nonexclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide right and license (with the right to sublicense to third persons), to use your name, likeness, voice, biographic information, photograph and image, and any photograph and image of the Creative Work, to advertise, market, publicize, and otherwise promote the Black Music City competition, awards, events, winners, applicants, activities, funders, and supporters, including but not limited to WXPN, WRTI, and REC Philly.
The rights granted to WXPN, WRTI, and REC Philly do not include any right to sell or loan your Creative Work, and you retain all of your rights as the owner to sell or loan the Creative Work to collectors, exhibitors, patrons of the arts, museums or other third persons, and/or to distribute, display and/or perform the Creative Work, beginning [January 1, 2022.] You also retain all of your moral rights under U.S. copyright law (if any), in and to the Creative Work.
 
The rights granted to WXPN, WRTI and REC Philly may be transferred or assigned by any one or all of them to a third person.