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National Museum of African American Music Announces Partnership with Sony Music Group

Victoria Wasylak • News • January 18, 2021

The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) has announced a new partnership with Sony Music Group (SMG), making them the first music company to support the museum’s mission and values ahead of its opening on January 18.

As part of the partnership, developed through Sony Music’s Global Social Justice Fund, a Sony Music Scholars Black Music Certification and Scholarship Program will be created to make an impact on the community through music education.

The scholarship program has been developed to introduce students to the music industry through the lens of African American history and culture. Together, the NMAAM and SMG will partner on a curriculum, course and certification dedicated to Black music culture and business, providing students a window into all facets of the music business and related careers.

“We are thrilled to partner with Sony Music Group to grow the museum and invest in the Nashville community,” said H. Beecher Hicks III, president and CEO of NMAAM. “Sony Music’s partnership helps us tell a unique story of Black music executives and also looks to the future to help create the next generation of leaders in music. We’re excited to finally be able to share the museum with the world later this month.”

Additionally, SMG will underwrite the museum’s “Business Behind the Music” exhibit at launch. The exhibit will feature Black music executives as well as record labels and publishers that have played a significant role throughout American history. Celebrating Black music business pioneers, the exhibit will be one of the most complete and up-to-date collections of its kind.

“NMAAM is an important institution, to Nashville and to our entire industry. We’re very pleased that we can help bring the museum to life and further our shared mission of impacting communities through music education,” said Towalame Austin, executive vice president, Philanthropy & Social Impact at Sony Music Group. “By telling the complex, overlooked and expansive history of Black artists and songwriters across all genres of music in this country, NMAAM is adding to Nashville’s already rich and growing arts community and is shining a light on key parts of our music history.”

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