A new organisation called Black Lives In Music has launched today (March 15), as the team behind it unveil a data-driven mission to amplify and empower black musicians and professionals.
Black Lives In Music (BLIM) was co-founded by music branding, marketing and management expert and Help Musicians trustee Charisse Beaumont, alongside musician and teacher Roger Wilson, who has worked with James Brown, Dame Shirley Bassey, Michael Ball and more.
A press release said that BLIM’s key goals are to act as a catalyst for meaningful change, provide opportunities for musicians at grassroots level, support and empower black artists and advocate for equality in the music industry.
The organisation is to launch BLIM Experience Survey to research the issues black creatives faces across areas including racial discrimination, mental health, well-being and economic disparity. The results will be published in the first annual BLIM report in May 2021.
The organisation has devised a 10-step digital charter urging music organisations to agree to fight systemic racism and reflect the diversity of the British population. Orphy Robinson MBE, Shabaka Hutchings, Paulette Long OBE, Cleveland Watkiss MBE, Yvette Griffith and James Joseph are among the names on the BLIM taskforce.
BLIM co-founder and chief executive Charisse Beaumont said: “We are bringing together all black musicians and music professionals for this research in order to create change. Your participation will make this data, which currently doesn’t exist, the most powerful data set about black musicians in the world which will be used to drive positive and lasting change.”
We are bringing together all black musicians and music professionals
Co-founder Roger Wilson said: “We need you to be part of it… To do this for you and your future. If you do, it will make a difference!”
Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, executive director, Chineke! Foundation, said: “Black Lives In Music is an extremely welcome organisation adding an important voice to the campaign for greater equity and inclusion across the music industry. Music takes on many forms from jazz to classical and speaks to us all no matter who you are or where you come from. Now is the time to remove all existing and remaining racial barriers of access and inclusion to allow music’s ability to truly bring people together from all walks of life. It is perhaps music’s greatest power.”
This will make a difference
Help Musicians UK chief executive James Ainscough said: “The data that Black Lives In Music collects will provide the musician-focused insight to fuel the change we all want to see. Their collaborative yet determined advocacy will create a positive legacy for many generations of musicians. That is why all of us at Help Musicians are passionate about supporting the establishment of Black Lives In Music. We are committed not just to co-funding their work, but also to listening and acting so we are part of the positive change that is needed across the music industry.”
PRS Foundation Joe Frankland, CEO, said: “PRS Foundation is pleased to see Black Lives In Music making such progress to address inequality of opportunity for Black people in the music sector. BLIM’s survey will go a long way to develop a deeper understanding of the everyday barriers and systemic racism that prevents exciting talent from thriving. This has to be the year of action.”
BLIM will work with orchestras, professional ensembles, universities, conservatoires, festivals, operas and trade bodies. Its partners include the Association Of British Orchestras, City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Help Musicians UK, Arts Council England, Trinity Laban, Leeds Conservatoire, PRS Foundation, The Ivors Academy, Musicians’ Union; Featured Artists’ Coalition, Manchester Jazz Festival, Jazz North, Marsden Jazz Festival, Litchfield Jazz Festival and the Black Music Coalition.