The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) recently announced the appointment of the museum’s first Music Industry Relations Committee (MIRC) of the Board of Directors. Eighteen individuals representing all avenues of the music industry have been selected to lead this committee, including: artists, record label executives, talent managers, media executives, media personalities, entertainment attorneys, entertainment marketing professionals and entertainment strategists. The role of the committee will be to serve as a liaison to help the museum cultivate and maintain relationships in the artist community and with executives in the music industry.
With NMAAM scheduled to open in Nashville in the fall of 2020, the formation of the MIRC serves to centralize its many relationships into one collective that can help the museum with ongoing music industry engagement as well as fundraising support from private and corporate donors. This includes helping the museum acquire additional artifacts to ensure the stories being told within NMAAM’s walls are a robust representation of the legacy of Black music and the American soundtrack.
Celebrity strategist, media personality and NMAAM Board Member Dyana Williams and entertainment attorney Leron E. Rogers will serve as co-chairpersons of the committee.
Williams brings years of expertise to the volunteer role with an impressive career working with dozens of notable Black artists and entertainment professionals. She has spent decades on the airwaves as a radio host in Philadelphia, but also is prominently known as one of the co-founders of Black Music Month, which has been celebrated annually in June since 1979.
“It is my honor to serve as the co-chair of the Music Industry Relations Committee for NMAAM,” said Williams. “We have assembled a distinguished collective of seasoned and knowledgeable entertainment professionals from diverse backgrounds and companies. These shining stars are advising our board, including: NMAAM President/CEO H. Beecher Hicks III, as well as museum staff with insights and guidance to help our museum remain relevant as a significant contemporary American music institution.”
Rogers is a renowned entertainment attorney and partner in the Atlanta office of Lewis Brisbois where he is vice-chair of the Entertainment, Media & Sports Practice. He has worked with the full spectrum of industry professionals including high profile actors, athletes, recording artists, producers, songwriters, record labels, publishing and management companies, music industry trade organizations and new media companies.
“The goal of the Music Industry Relations Committee about advancing NMAAM’s mission through fundraising while also being advocates for the preservation of culture,” said Rogers. “My hope is that each committee member can bring their unique relationships to the collective to help foster a greater sense of pride and collaboration among entertainment professionals. NMAAM is a special place, and for those of us who have committed our careers to this industry, the museum should feel like a home whether you write lyrics, or you write contracts. This museum celebrates Black excellence and I’m very proud to serve the institution in this capacity.”
Current members of the NMAAM Media Industry Relations Committee include:
- Dyana Williams, ‘celebrity strategist,’ CEO, Influence Entertainment
- Leron E. Rogers, attorney, partner, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP and president of BESLA
- Al B. Sure, recording artist and radio host
- Angela Yee, entrepreneur and co-host of the Breakfast Club radio show
- Ashaunna Ayars, founder and chief marketing officer, The Ayars Agency
- Azim Rashid, senior vice president/head of Urban Promotion, Columbia Records
- Brandon Pankey, vice president, Business Development & Operations, Live Nation Urban
- Courtney Stewart, founder/CEO, Right Hand Music Group
- David Linton, Chairman, Living Legends Foundation Inc., program director WCLK-FM
- Gail Mitchell, executive director of R&B/Hip-Hop, Billboard
- Karen E. Lee, senior vice president, W&W Public Relations
- Laiya St. Clair, producer/co-host, Questlove Supreme Podcast and Love + Grit Podcast
- Lynn M. Scott, vice president, marketing, HITCO
- Monique Idlett-Mosley, president/CEO, Reign Ventures
- Natina Nimene, senior vice president of Urban Promotion, Def Jam Records
- Peter Kadin, vice president of marketing, Empire
- Robin Lyon, founder/CEO, Baller Alert Foundation
- Whitney-Gayle Benta, head of artist and talent relations, Spotify
MIRC members have committed to lending their voices and influence as NMAAM ambassadors to help promote the museum within the industry as well as their personal networks. Participation from these professionals helps NMAAM to continue its mission to educate, preserve, and celebrate the legacy and impact of African American artistry.
For more information about the museum’s Music Industry Relations Committee and to stay connected to details surrounding NMAAM’s upcoming public opening, visit <BlackMusicMuseum.org>.