Photo Credit: Alyssa Donyae
Black Opry is home for Black artists, fans and industry professionals working in country, Americana, blues, and folk music. Country and roots music have been made and loved by Black people since their conception. For just as long, we have been overlooked and disregarded in the genre. Black Opry is changing that.
“Black Opry is so powerful because it reflects not only this generation of artists, musicians, and songwriters, but also writers, critics, journalists, and fans who are interested in not just amplifying the work of Black country artists and other marginalized communities,” says Dr. Charles L. Hughes, historian and author of Country Soul, “but also in creating networks and building a sense of community to avoid dealing with racist institutions.”
Black Opry Revue
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH WXPN
WXPN’s Black Opry Residency celebrates and amplifies Black Americana musicians working to reclaim their place in the American musical cannon. Americana is an umbrella term that integrates traditional roots music genres including country, bluegrass, folk, blues, gospel, alternative country, and singer-songwriter.
WXPN, the public radio service from the University of Pennsylvania, and producers of World Cafe from NPR (National Public Radio), has received funding from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage for a creative residency program supporting five emerging Black Americana musicians in further developing their artistic and professional practices.
The residency will include collaborative workshops, at least two performances, mentoring and professional development. The residency project will be documented for an accompanying podcast and may result in a compilation recording. Primary activities will take place at WXPN and World Cafe studios including recording, collaboration and interviews.
This artist centered residency series is a collaboration with Black Opry. The project consultants include Black Opry founder Holly G., and musician and radio host Rissi Palmer (Color Me Country Radio on Apple Music). The finalists chosen will receive a stipend, housing and transportation costs for a week long creative residency in Philadelphia tentatively scheduled for March 18-26, 2023.
Eligibility for participation is restricted to artists, 21 years of age and up, with a minimum of 3 years professional performing and recording experience. Application is limited to independent artists who do not have existing label recording contracts.