A2IM — The American Association of Independent Music — has announced that it has created the Black Independent Music Accelerator (BIMA), a fellowship initiative designed to get Black music industry professionals on their feet.

In a press release, A2IM confirmed that their fellowship program — whose applications open today — will “amplify Black voices” by providing them such services as networking, mentorship opportunities, and complimentary access to conventions and other events.

“My artists’ streams have all gone up by more than 100% because of the education and connectivity I am afforded by being a member of A2IM,” said Madeline Nelson of Head Music, who sits on the BIMA’s advisory board. “The level of insight the panelists and speakers shared has proven to be invaluable.”

Other members of BIMA’s advisory board include Troy Carter, Founder,  and CEO of Q&A; Fotemah Mba, Head of A&R, General Market at Cinq Music Group; Taryn Brown, Founding Principal at Taryn Brown + Company; Chrissy Nkemere, Senior Director of Streaming Marketing at Concord Music Group; and Marcus Hollinger, SVP of Marketing at Reach Records.

COVID-19 has changed the way nearly everyone has done business, but seemingly no other industry has been decimated to such a degree as the music industry — and, specifically, the live industry subsector of the music industry. While this void has created opportunities, it has also created unprecedented challenges — and it’s these challenges that the BIMA hopes to help overcome, especially for Black music industry professionals.

However, AI2M promises that this BIMA initiative is not a “one and done” thing. Rather, they confirm that they have a vested interest in long-term growth. Their advisory board is the “most diverse” board in its history, and the BIMA initiative will continue to invest in Black music industry professionals who are looking to have a music industry career and not just a “side gig” playing music.

To apply for the BIMA initiative, visit a2im.org/bima.