Emerging artists will get a big boost into the music scene in the coming year, thanks to a new collaboration announced by NPR Music and VuHaus at NonCOMM Thursday.
The project will pull nominations from programming staff at the 18 public radio stations participating in the VuHaus video network — including founding stations WXPN, WFUV, KCRW, KUTX and The Bridge — and, from those names, three artists will be identified that the collaborative, in conjunction with NPR Music, will champion in the 2017-18 season. This could mean anything from appearances at station events, on-air interviews and studio sessions, and performances for video series like NPR’s Tiny Desk.
“Everybody in this room knows the impact of public radio on artist development,” said XPN general manager Roger LaMay, who is also a board member at NPR and is heavily involved in VuHaus. “It’s really been essential with NonCOMMs and public radio writ large to pool our resources and work together to grow our impact.”
La May says the project will connect the impact of AAA noncommercial stations across the country with the impact of NPR Music, and will “throw our collective weight behind” artists.
Anya Grundmann, vice president for programming and audience development at NPR, cited “amazing outlets for artists all across public radio,” including Morning Becomes Eclectic, Cactus Cafe, Tiny Desk, Mountain Stage and World Cafe. Through the project — which does not yet have a name, but one is coming with the official announcement this summer — the group will put a package together for three artists so they can travel across country and be featured on all these outlets.
“A lot of artists have been sort of doing this organically anyway,” said Grundmann. “We thought it would be much more powerful if we packaged it…and made it about folks we collectively in public media believe in, and do it with the biggest muscle we have.”
Grundmann added that she believes the new emerging artists project will help new outlets evolve and create new opportunities around the country for emerging artists.
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