Backline Set to Select 3 Milwaukee-Area Musicians or Bands for Its Second Accelerator Session


Applications are being accepted through Feb. 4 for the next musician accelerator program run by Backline, a grant and educational initiative of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and gener8tor.

Three Milwaukee-area musicians or bands will be selected for the next 12-week accelerator session with another accelerator to be held later this year. The free program will include creation of new music, mentorship and connections from local and national experts and $20,000 grants to be used in consultation with Backline to further the musicians’ careers.

Backline launched and held its first musician accelerator last year. Four Milwaukee-area artists – Lex Allen, Crystal Knives, Abby Jeanne and Zed Kenzo – completed the program and received the grants.

Applicants must:

  • Be an individual artist or band creating original music. An “artist” is defined as someone who creates original music of any genre – a songwriter, instrumentalist, vocalist or producer.
  • Live within the seven-county Greater Milwaukee area (Milwaukee, Kenosha, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties). If a band is applying, 50% of members must live within the seven counties.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be able to participate full-time in the 12-week accelerator (approximately 20-40 hours per week).
  • Demonstrate a commitment to making a full-time career in music. Applications and details on the program, application requirements and selection process can be found at Industry experts will review the applications and narrow the pool.

Three national experts from outside Milwaukee will make the final selections following in-person interviews and studio sessions with other applicants.

The program will be split into three main sections: “create,” “connect” and “plan.” During the create phase, musicians will spend time in the studio to create music and develop their projects. During connect; artists will receive introductions to mentors and industry experts both locally and nationally. The plan phase helps guide artists through a 12-month plan to develop their careers and will equip them with tools to navigate the business of the music industry.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee and gener8tor in partnership developed Backline to help Milwaukee musicians succeed, improve Milwaukee’s recognition as one of the country’s most vibrant music cities and assist companies in attracting and retaining employees.

“The artists in our first program made great connections in the music industry and produced some amazing work,” Backline Program Director Mag Rodriguez said. “We’re ready for another group of artists who are all-in and ready to make a big leap in their careers.”

Backline is also offering free quarterly public workshops on topics of interest to musicians. To learn about future workshops, sign up for the Backline email list at  or follow Backline on social media. Information about upcoming workshops is also available at as are videos of past workshops.


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