The Ivors Academy has announced a new development programme, Advocacy Accelerator, to increase diversity on music industry boards.
VV Brown, Eve Horne, Oliver Vibrans and Freddie Kofi are the first songwriters, composers and industry professionals to join the programme which was launched by Tom Gray, Chair of The Ivors Academy, at this year’s virtual AGM. Led by Orphy Robinson MBE and Ayanna Witter-Johnson, the two-year Advocacy Accelerator will provide experience as an Academy Board Director, with support through mentoring, shadowing at music industry meetings and training about how the industry is structured and works.
Composer, songwriter and musician Ayanna Witter-Johnson says of the Advocacy Accelerator, ‘To create a positive and equitable music industry that addresses historic injustices and power imbalances, we need a greater range of views and voices in boardrooms. I’m proud to be part of the Academy’s work to accelerate the change that we need in building long-lasting outcomes, not temporary solutions.’
Jazz composer and instrumentalist Orphy Robinson MBE says, ‘When I look at the music industry, how it behaves and who gets to have a say at the top, I do see more widespread acknowledgement that there are still historic imbalances and opaque caveats to be addressed and remedied. The evidence shows that universally change needs to happen, this can only really be achieved when more diverse voices are included in decision-making processes that will affect their careers, livelihood, and practices. Too many music creators still feel shut out, silenced and their voices not represented. This programme is one part of a necessary push to put those writers and creators at the centre of the industry.’