Motown Accelerator Opens 2021 Artist and Manager Applications Aim to Keep Detroit Talent in Detroit

The Music Industry Program Aims to Raise $400,000 to Support Local Artists

Motown Accelerator

With a fundraising goal of $400,000, Motown Accelerator, the music industry program that jump-starts the careers of future Detroit performing artists and music industry professionals, has opened its 2021 application cycle and is seeking donations to keep Detroit talent in the city of Detroit.

Following the successful model created by the great Berry Gordy, Motown Accelerator provides grants, educational resources, and industry connections to local Detroit musicians to guide them toward stardom and is a community-driven initiative that meets young artists where they are and guides them through the process of building successful careers.

Motown Accelerator is a partnership of Capitol Music Group, Motown Records, Motown Museum, TechTown Detroit, gener8tor and the City of Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship and is designed to help music communities level up and break out.



“The career development resources that Motown Accelerator provides to Detroit’s music community are helping strengthen the city’s music industry infrastructure,” said Paul Riser, Jr., Director of Detroit Urban Solutions at TechTown Detroit and Motown Museum Board Member. Riser’s father is Paul Riser, Sr., one of Motown’s famed Funk Brothers and an arranger on many of the label’s biggest hits.

To donate and support Motown Accelerator, contact Prentice Keller, VP of Growth at gener8tor at prentice@gener8tor.com, as the campaign seeks to raise $100,000 by April 1, $100,000 by July 1, and $100,000 by October 1. Applications for 2021 artists and managers will close on March 14 and can be found here.

The Motown Accelerator has proven to be successful as one of its 2020 artists, B Free, saw a 47% jump in Spotify listeners and gained more than 200,000 views of his single “Teleport Me” on YouTube. His next full-length album, Dead or Alive, will be released this month on all streaming platforms.



Detroit has more talent on a single street than some cities have in their entire borders,” said Rochelle Riley, Director of Arts and Culture for the City. “And we want that talent to stay here. So I hope people across the city and the state support programming that helps gifted young artists reach their dreams and have successful careers in an industry that defines us as much as the auto industry.

The Top 50 artist applicants chosen for this year’s cycle will participate in a week-long Masterclass Series focused on Track SelectionMixing & MasteringFinding Your Sound and Artist Development.

The Top 10 artists and 10 aspiring managers will begin a six-week program on May 10th to learn the music industry with direct mentorship from industry executives. Each participant will receive a $500 grant to cover the cost of opening an LLC, establishing their publishing company, and creating social media advertising.

Based on their performance in that program, two artists and two managers will be selected for a 12-week, intensive program that includes music industry connections and artist development. The managers will receive a $5,000 stipend, and artists will receive a $25,000 grant to use toward their career, including a rollout strategy that the program will develop with them.



“We are grooming and handing artists the tools they need to be successful, competitive acts,” Riser Jr. said.

Suai Kee, director of the Motown Accelerator Program, agreed. “Having a program to develop a new generation of gifted artists positively affects their communities, engages other creatives, and stimulates the city’s spirit of collaboration and entrepreneurship,” she said. “This is especially important now when pulling together is crucial to our collective recovery from a challenging year.”

The 2021 Motown Accelerator is supported by the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, Microsoft, MGM Resorts Foundation, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship. Click here to learn more about Motown Accelerator.

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