One of the things that we love most about Bay View and the surrounding Milwaukee area is that it’s just bursting with talented artists.  That’s why we’re proud to share our support and encourage all Milwaukee-area musicians to apply, now through June 25th, for the first Backline accelerator session and $20,000 in grants!  

The Backline session is a grant and educational initiative that’s looking for applicants from local musicians for its first 12-week intensive mentorship program, which includes $20,000 grants to be used toward chosen musicians’ career goals.  Any interested applicants can send submissions through the following link where they’ll also find details on the selection process:  Selection criteria include:

  • Applicants must be an individual artist (songwriter, instrumentalist, vocalist or producer) or band creating original music, of any genre.
  • Applicants must live within the seven-county Greater Milwaukee area (Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha Counties).
  • Applicants must be able to participate full-time in the 12-week accelerator (approximately 20-40 hours per week), which runs from Aug. 3 – Nov 17.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to making a full-time career in music.

The top ten finalists will be narrowed down to the four Backline fellows that will attend the accelerator by a panel of five national music industry experts.  The panel will lead in-person interviews with each finalist before making their final decisions.

Those chosen will participate in the free 12-week accelerator program.  And trust us, this is one program that any musician would be over the moon to get into!  The session includes an intensive study in the creation of new music, mentorship, the gaining of connections from local and national industry experts, and, of course, $20,000 in grant money to be used in consultation with Backline to further the musician’s career.

For those passionate musicians who are interested in applying, the program will be split into three main sections: “create,” “connect” and “plan.”  During the create phase, musicians will spend time in the studio where they can create new music and develop their individual projects. Then, during the connect phase, the chosen artists will be introduced to mentors and industry experts on both the local and national level.  Finally, the plan phase is designed to help guide artists through a 12-month plan to develop their careers. The goal is to equip each musician with the invaluable tools necessary to navigate the business of the music industry.

This wonderful opportunity is designed to help Milwaukee musicians succeed, improve our area’s recognition as one of the country’s most vibrant music cities and assist companies in attracting the young employees that they need to take our local industry to the next level.  Backline hopes to be the foundation that Milwaukee’s music scene has been searching for, where local talent will finally have a team in support of their career goals to break into the music industry.

This year, Backline will run one 12-week accelerator session but has plans to offer two sessions each year starting in 2019.  The organization also offers free quarterly public workshops on a variety of topics of interest to musicians. For more information on those, be sure to head to the website!  Panelists for these quarterly workshops include agents from leading national firms like Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and APA, as well as local talent buyers from Milwaukee’s Summerfest, The Pabst Theater GroupCactus Club and Miramar Theater.

Supporting the arts and local artists is something that is so near and dear to our hearts.  We wish all of you out there looking to apply for this huge opportunity the best of luck! Break a leg!