Non-Profit organization Musicians United for Social Equity today announced a set of scholarships supporting BIPOC musicians pursuing a career in theatre. This new initiative also heralds the official launch of the organization, co-founded by Kenny Seymour (Memphis, Ain’t Too Proud) and Stephen Oremus (Book of Mormon, Wicked), along with a board of award-winning musicians such as Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen), Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Mean Girls), and Zane Mark (Motown the Musical).
Inspired by some of theatre’s greatest musicians, the scholarships are aptly named the MUSE Harold Wheeler Scholarship which dedicates $2500 to one aspiring professional musician who is working in theatre, and the MUSE Linda Twine Scholarship, which offers $2500 for one student-enrolled musician who plans to pursue employment in the theatre industry. Each scholarship also includes one-on-one consultation with MUSE founding members. The deadline to submit applications is May 5, 2021.
“Talent and passion nurtured by support and mentorship brings one that much closer to success,” co-chair Kenny Seymour says. “It is our hope at MUSE that through these scholarships, we can help bring creative individuals closer to achieving their goals and dreams.”
In addition to the scholarships, MUSE welcomes all musicians of color to join its free membership, which offers mentoring and networking opportunities as well as access to their job board and listing on their directory. “I’m excited by MUSE’s potential to affect great change in our theater industry, both on Broadway and beyond,” says founding member, Alex Lacamoire. “Through our membership directory and through our plans for education and outreach, we aim to diversify the landscape such that people of color have access to more opportunities to make music in theatrical productions everywhere. It is past time for a progression in the practices of how musicians are hired for theater, and MUSE hopes to champion our members so that BIPOC artists can thrive in this industry.”
Many industry leaders have already voiced their support for MUSE’s mission, including award-winning songwriters Kristen and Bobby Lopez, who expressed “With the national launch of MUSE, our orchestra pits, our recording sessions, and the entertainment industry as a whole takes a huge step forward toward equity and opportunity for all voices and backgrounds. This is how we elevate American music – by making sure the band includes ALL Americans.”
To apply for the scholarship: https://museonline.org/scholarship/
To become a member: https://museonline.org/join/
To support and donate: https://museonline.org/donate/