Photo Credit: Nate Cameron

Frequently Asked Questions

How are artists chosen for the Accelerator program?

The Music to Life (MtL) team, and often members of the sponsoring community (area DJs, music industry personnel, educators and nonprofit advocates), evaluate candidates for artistic talent, experience with social change work, capacity as ‘influencers’ and feasibility and sustainability of their concepts.

What happens next?

A written contract is developed with the selected artists stipulating expectations.

What is the value of the Accelerator?

Each of Music to Life’s Accelerators are valued at approximately $15-20k per applicant.  This includes artist stipends and expenses for pilot instruction, development and graduation showcases, entrepreneurial assistance/training and technical assistance for participating artists, and any travel and conference participation costs.

How does Music to Life work with the Community?

Each Accelerator involves several key community players:

  1. Host Community Partner (festival, university, conference, music-driven affinity group) who provides the local platform from which the Accelerator will be cultivated, announced and supported.
  2. Lead nonprofit/s or social enterprise organizations (advocacy groups, community development, social service, music education, etc.) who will partner with the Activist Artist to house and sustain the collaboratively conceived project. Through their participation in the Accelerator, lead organizations typically find new avenues of funding, cross-sector pollination and increased awareness for their cause and organization.
  3. Community allies (philanthropists, like-minded businesses, media, artist support groups) who offer mentorship, instruction, support and other resources to insure a successful project.
How can I become a mentor to an Activist Musician?

Music to Life taps a diverse roster of mentors from around the country and within an Activist Musician’s location or region.  Mentors are seasoned professionals in the music, nonprofit and commercial industries (sometimes a combination of all three) who can offer critical business, marketing and program development skills to musicians in the program.  Time commitment varies but is typically a minimum of 1-2 hours/week over 3-4 months.  Honoraria and/or stipends are typically offered to qualified mentors.  Please contact us to learn more.

How long is the Accelerator program?

The duration is usually 8-10 months.

How many artists participate annually?

Typically 3-5 artists per host community, 15-20 artists nationally each year.

How is impact measured?

The lead nonprofit/s and the musician are jointly responsible for measuring outcomes focused on three overarching goals:

  1. Galvanizing supporters
  2. Strengthening community fabric
  3. Supporting vulnerable populations

Measurement may be a combination of quantitative evaluation (e.g., size of audiences) or subjective (focus groups, pre-and post surveys of attitudes) and is utilized to demonstrate impact and create a relevant and sustainable program.

What happens when the Accelerator is done?

Music to Life helps artists and their communities sustain impact by facilitating collaborations with local support groups like Grammy Chapters and local arts advocacy groups or agencies.  Additional opportunities are available to select artists through Music to Life’s national showcases (“MtLx”) featuring AMA graduates (festivals, conferences) and/or facilitated partnerships with major music services to help amplify artists’ work, reach and impact.

What types of social change does Music to Life support?

As a hub of musical activism for the most pressing issues of our time, Music to Life stands against bullying, gun violence, police misconduct, poverty, and war, and stands for civil rights, democracy, disability rights, environmental rights, human rights, immigrants’ rights, indigenous people’s rights, LGBTQ rights, prisoner’s rights, women’s rights, and worker’s rights.

On a more fundamental level, Music to Life and its network of activist artists believe that everyone, no matter what station or in what season in life, has inherent dignity and worth and understands the power of music to bring people together, tear down divisions, help people facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles, mental health challenges, physical illnesses, and heal communities.

What is the organizational structure of Music to Life?

Music to Life is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with Executive and Advisory Boards drawn from a national roster of leaders in industry, philanthropy, business, and nonprofits. Guided by a strategic plan, Music to Life closely monitors organizational activity in four key areas: fundraising, marketing/communications, governance/operations and program/business development.