Apple’s “What’s your superpower?” creative arts program in full swing

Dozens of students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) participated in a two-week creative arts program funded by Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, the iPhone giant said Thursday.

Apple’s Propel Center and Apple Music’s Nashville office are partnering with two universities on the program. It is designed to prepare students to pursue creative and managerial careers in the arts, particularly music.

50 HBCU students participate in Apple’s “What’s Your Superpower?” creative arts program

Apple’s Propel Center, established in 2021, organized the June project. Among them, 50 students from 19 HBCUs participated in a 10-day experiential activity titled “What is your superpower?” Apple said that the course tried to allow students to embrace their true selves in their future careers.

Hosted at Tennessee State University in Nashville and Clark Atlanta University, participants received creative and management coaching from HBCU faculty and industry professionals. Students also work with experts from Apple Music’s Nashville office. The course was designed by the Propel Center, a $25 million investment by Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. It is designed to create new pathways for HBCU students in competitive career fields such as music performance, production and management.

“Subject matter experts are everything on this journey,” said Dr. Lisa Herring, president of the Propel Center. “There is nothing more powerful for students in their quest to become experts than being able to talk to experts. Apple believes in being able to not only be a partner but to be at the table, off the table and into the field, and then Working side by side with our students and faculty – it’s all about commitment to detail.

Advancement Center: Creative Arts and More

Apple Propel Center Creative Arts Program
This year, the accelerator brought participants to the campuses of Tennessee State University in Nashville and Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta.
Photo: Apple

The Propel Center provides HBCUs with educational programs in a variety of disciplines, including technology focus areas such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and application development, as well as creative arts, entertainment, design, agriculture and social justice.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and environment, said: “Four years ago, when we launched the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, we had a clear mission to advance equity and create better outcomes for under-resourced communities. Many opportunities.

“These are ongoing and systemic challenges, and we are committed to working with partners, including the Propel Center, to close existing gaps and achieve meaningful change,” she added. “Our partnership with Propel is designed to provide talented students with the technology, resources and expertise they need to become industry leaders, whether they work in arts and entertainment, technology or other fields.”

Apple Music partners with Nashville

One student collaborated with musician Fresh Ayr on the project.
Photo: Apple

In Nashville, students met with Apple Music Global Head of Hip Hop and R&B Ebro Darden at the National Museum of African American Music. They are also working with experts from Apple Music and Universal Music Group’s East Iris Studios.

Participants collaborated on a project themed “Driving Preservation,” showcasing the contributions of black creatives to social movements and exploring ways to sustain HBCU culture. Teams were assigned genres and tasked with recording singles, developing marketing plans and filming visual campaigns using iPhones.

Some students collaborated with industry professionals, including artist and producer Fresh Ayr, and received production assistance from UMG East Iris Studios using Logic Pro.

Sylvester Polk, a music engineering mentor and teacher at Bethune-Cookman University in Florida, praised the accelerator for providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the industry, regardless of their previous experience.

“A lot of students come from different schools and different backgrounds,” he said. “Some of them have been exposed to a lot of stuff and some don’t have any idea. There are so many areas and skills required in various fields that it can be open to a lot of people. This accelerator is great for giving students a comprehensive understanding of what the industry is about and how it works, and Propel can also provide extensions for the classroom.

Source: Apple

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