The Black Music City project recently announced that it is distributing $48,000 to 23 Black creatives in the greater Philadelphia area to produce new artistic works inspired by Philadelphia’s Black music history. Each recipient is receiving between $1,000 and $3,500.
The Black Music City grant recipients and new artistic projects are:
Shekhinah B-Brown / The Tammi Terrell Project ($1,000)
Digital Art (photography, videography, illustration) honoring the late and great Tammi Terrell.
Nikki Brake-Silla / Lily on the Rise ($3,500)
Other; honoring Black Lily at The Five Spot.
Zeek Burse / Soul Sista (Reimagined) ($3,000)
Other/multimedia honoring Bilal’s “Soul Sista” album and the strength, soulfulness, beauty and brilliance of the Black Philly Woman.
Kendrah Butler / Sacred Spirituals: Inspired by the Spirit of Trudy Pitts ($3,500)
Music (song, project) honoring the legacy and compositional work of pianist and composer Trudy Pitts.
Kimberly Camp / Salute to Marian Anderson ($2,500)
Physical art (painting, drawing, sculpture) honoring 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.
Stanley Collins / The Seeds of Black Lily ($1,000)
Alternative audio (podcast, spoken word) honoring Black Lily Women in Music Series and the Philadelphia Soul movement of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Anima Danquah / The Sound of Philly Mixtape ($1,000)
Digital art (photography, videography, illustration) honoring the evolution and influence of Philadelphia musicians.
Erin Dillard / Emospacebird ($1,000)
Music (song, project) honoring the late and great Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Allen Green / Philly Musicians Give Back ($2,500)
Digital art (photography, videography, illustration) exploring the role social justice advocacy (protesting, fundraising, volunteering) played in Philly musicians’ lyrics and actions.
Noah-Harmony Harley / Sustaining the Sound of Freedom ($1,500)
Music (song, project) honoring Rufus Harley, Jr., the world’s first jazz bagpiper.
Victor Jackson / Princess of a Mountain and Referee of the Ring ($3,500)
Woodwork, poetry, aerosol painting honoring Tammi Terrell and Teddy Pendergrass.
Oronde Kairi / The Mighty Delfonics ($1,000)
Physical art (painting, drawing, sculpture) honoring legendary music group The Delfonics.
Joshua Lee / The Music of Frankie Fairfax ($2,000)
Music (song, project) celebrating the Black dance bands and dancers of Philadelphia during the 1930s and 40s.
John Morrison / Culture Cypher Magazine ($2,500)
Book/zine/print publication honoring Philadelphia’s music and arts culture through a creative approach to journalism and publishing.
Aniyak Munroe / Before Me ($2,500)
Digital art (photography, videography, illustration) honoring six musicians who came “before me” in time, depicting their immortality and timelessness through an Afro-Futurist landscape.
Warren Oree / Philly’s Hard Bop Sound Machine ($2,500)
Music (song, project) honoring Lee Morgan and the Philly contribution to hard bop jazz music.
M’Balia Singley / Meet Me On the Moon ($1,000)
Music (song, project) honoring Phyllis Hyman.
Monnette Sudler-Honesty / Woman to Woman: Comparing the Lives and Music of Trudy Pitts and Shirley Scott ($2,500)
Music (song, project) honoring Trudy Pitts and Shirley Scott.
Jamaaladeen Tacuma / Tribute to the Philly Rhythm Kings ($3,500)
Music (song, project) honoring bassist Ronnie Baker, guitarist Norman Harris and drummer Earl Young (the unsung rhythm section that helped create the early Philly sound).
Oluwamuyiwa Togun / Ààro Méta (Three Stones) ($1,000)
Physical art (painting, drawing, sculpture), title of which is a Yoruba saying that refers to three stones representing stability, wisdom and unity and depicting three prominent Black female musicians who have been or are known as pillars of the Philadelphia music and creative community.
CrisTene’ Triplet / Black in Classical Music ($2,500)
Music (song, project) honoring Philadelphian Marian Anderson and the contribution of Blacks in classical music.
Yolanda Ward / Back In The Day ($1,000)
Physical art (painting, drawing, sculpture) honoring Philly Soul (In A Time When Music Filled Your Every Moment).
Kyra Williams / SIMBY Presents: The Voices of Sisterly Affection ($2,000)
Digital art (photography, videography, illustration) honoring the lasting contributions that Black women from Philly have made in music, from Billie Holiday to Tierra Whack.
In December 2020, the new Black Music City collaboration between Philadelphia public music radio stations WXPN-FM and WRTI-FM and REC Philly announced that it had secured funding from Wyncote Foundation to award grants to Black creatives in the greater Philadelphia region, to help them create new projects that recognize and honor the influence of Philadelphia’s Black music history. Since that announcement, another $19,000 in sponsorship funding provided by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and a donation by Philadelphians Dan and Marilyn Hauser has brought the total amount of grant money available to $48,000.
More than 600 applications were received. The Black Music City Selection Committee, which determined the final list of recipients, are these Black Philadelphia professionals in the arts, media and business: Alex Holley, FOX-29 TV “Good Day Philadelphia” anchor/co-host; Dame and Yaya Horne, creative director and CEO, co-founders, Tiny Rooms for Elephants; Chill Moody, hip-hop artist, City of Philadelphia Music Ambassador; Ashley Coleman Thomas, senior membership and project manager, Philadelphia Chapter of The Recording Academy; Gerald Veasley, president, Jazz Philadelphia; Dyana Williams, CEO, Influence Entertainment and award-winning broadcaster.
“Reviewing the submissions was an incredible reminder of the breadth and depth of talent we have in our city,” Veasley said.
Moody added, “We’re all excited to see these amazing jawns come to life.”
Work on the new creative projects will begin immediately. Videos hosted by artist and Black Music City spokesperson Suzann Christine and posted at BlackMusicCity.com will spotlight the journeys of some of these new creations. All new works must be completed by May 27, with exhibition and distribution of the videos and final artwork taking place during June, which is African American Music Appreciation Month.
More information about Black Music City is available at www.blackmusiccity.com. Follow and share about the project using #blackmusiccity.