The Association of Artist Managers and Warner Music Australia have teamed up for the launch of their First Nations Mentor Program for the coming year. With its inaugural year in 2014, the program has since developed into a multi-faceted professional development opportunity, consisting of peer-to-peer mentorship, essential development workshops and networking opportunities.
Building upon the Mentorship's work in previous years, this year's refreshed program will comprise of an entirely digital mentorship approach, providing two different pathways. The first opportunity will be for two current First Nations managers at any stage of their career, the second is for one First Nations person interested in artist management. In addition to the peer-to-peer mentorship that forms the basis of the program, all members of the public will be able hear from a panel of First Nations voices, who will facilitate honest discussions about sovereignty and the work the greater music industry needs to undertake to ensure that diversity, representation and acknowledgement is safe-guarded into the future.
Mentees will also have the opportunity to have one on one time with specialist team members within the Warner Music family.
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Boasting an impressive lineup of music industry alumni, the 2020/2021 panelists include Kabi Kabi and Wiradjuri artist and producer Alethea Beetson, rapper, drummer and speaker from Brewarrina Ryan Dobby and 2019/2020 mentee and AAM member Cerisa Grant.
As inequality for First Nations people in the Australian creative and music industry continues to be highlighted, the AAM, Warner Music Australia and several other industry leaders are recognising the urgency for series action. Earlier this year, ARIA, in partnership with the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia and the Australia Council for the Arts announced a new recording grant to support emerging First Nations artists.
The initiative, "designed to provide an opportunity for First Nations artists to create sound recordings, and access advice and managerial support to grow their audience," will provide five successful applicants $18,500 grant each to develop effective marketing and promotion for their music.