Howard University’s School of Business announced today that it’s received a $4.9 million gift from Warner Music Group and the Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund to fund the development of a new music business center.
According to an announcement from the university, the new center will operate as an academic hub to help support students pursuing career endeavors in music business management.
“I’d like to thank the Warner Music Group and the Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund for this significant gift to launch the music business center at Howard University. The contributions of African-American artists to the music and entertainment business are significant, but people of color are still underrepresented on the management side of the industry,” Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick shared in a statement. “This gift to the School of Business honors the historic legacy Black people have made in the industry while making a crucial investment in today’s students who will become the leaders of tomorrow.”
In addition to preparing students to enter the music industry, the center will provide a space for curriculum development, internship opportunities, executive-in-residence and certification programs. Moreover, it will also offer a one-year fellowship program for students interested in learning more about the music industry.
“Through the center we will prepare Howard students for management leadership positions and create a pipeline to help diversify all levels of this influential business,” Howard University School of Business Dean Anthony D. Wilbon, Ph.D. said in a statement. “Our goal is to prepare students with the skills necessary to succeed, provide the networking opportunities to gain exposure to industry leaders, and create long term impact in the entertainment board rooms.”
Participating students in the center’s program will receive hands-on industry experience working with influential organizations as well as coaching, specialized curriculum, and mentorship.
The new center will allow music executives to host a series of fireside chats, master classes and other curated programming to give students real-world experience of what it’s like to work in the industry.
“As a Howard alum, I could not be prouder to have played a role in bringing this much-needed music center to my alma mater,” said Julian Petty — Fund Advisory Board member and EVP and Head of Business & Legal Affairs at Warner Records — shared in an announcement. “It will also serve as an important step forward in creating a better pipeline of Black executives in the music business, and I am confident that it will help nurture the next generation of industry leaders.”
Warner Music Group and the Blavatnik Family Foundation’s $100 million Social Justice Fund was first established last summer as a response to the reckoning of social justice in America. They’ve since focused their efforts on reforming education, criminal justice, and cultural and performing arts.
For more information about Warner Music Group’s latest social justice efforts, click here.