Scholarships Awarded to Diverse Group of Exceptional College Students Pursuing Music Industry Careers Including First Recipient of David E. Ballard Scholarship for Former Homeless and Foster Youth
(LOS ANGELES – July 11, 2019) — Live Nation, the world’s leading live entertainment company, in partnership with the nonprofit House of Blues Music Forward Foundation, today announced the recipients of its 2019 scholarship programs. Four outstanding college students pursuing music industry careers will be awarded a total of $40,000 in scholarships, including the first recipient of the David E. Ballard Scholarship, established this year for former homeless and foster youth, in partnership with the Living Legacy Foundation.
This year’s diverse group of gifted scholarship recipients, who will each receive $10,000, were selected based on academic performance, leadership skills and a passionate commitment to the live entertainment experience. They include an audio production major who was born while his mother was incarcerated; a fearless Latinx feminist from Bogota, Colombia, who produces singles at her school’s student-run record label; a Berklee College of Music student who serves as a house manager at the Boston Lyric Opera; and a student who leads the marketing for Georgia State University’s annual spring concert.
“Live Nation is distinctively positioned to offer the next generation of music industry leaders professional and educational support through these scholarship programs,” said Mark Campana, chief operating officer, Live Nation U.S. Concerts. “We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the music industry and proudly support these dedicated and talented students as they pursue their career goals.”
Christian King, a 27-year-old from Inglewood, California, is the first-ever recipient of the David E. Ballard Scholarship funded by the Living Legacy Foundation. This scholarship supports youth who have experienced homelessness and/or been part of the foster care system and are interested in pursuing a career in live entertainment. King was born while his mother was incarcerated, and he was in foster care for much of his life. During his tumultuous childhood, King says “music was my escape, my outlet, my form of communication, my passion and my truth.”
He maintains a 4.0 GPA at the Los Angeles Film School while working toward a Bachelor of Arts in audio production and is also a recording artist and music producer. King, a father of two, stands out—according to his professors—for his dedication to the field of music, leadership skills and innovative artistic work.
“This scholarship is a blessing,” said King. “It has been very hard being a full-time student trying to make ends meet. It gives me hope that if I continue to work hard, good things are coming. Part of why I’m finishing my BA in audio production is because I want to provide a stable and secure income for my family. This scholarship gives me a way to better manage my living expenses with the ability to focus on my education. I am forever grateful for this scholarship and want to finish strong and put this to good use for a better and brighter future.”
The Tiffany Green Operator Scholarship was established by Live Nation to support women pursuing careers in live entertainment. (According to a recent study conducted by USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, just 2% of music producers in the U.S. are women). This year’s recipient is 20-year-old Juliana Castrillon, who hails from Bogota, Colombia, and is a student at The College of Saint Rose working toward a Bachelor of Science with a music industry concentration.
Castrillon is a talented recording engineer, music producer, live event manager, visionary thinker and leader among her peers, according to her professors. She is on the executive board of her college’s student-run Rose Record Label and a member of the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network, a program that cultivates courageous leadership in young women during college years and beyond.
“This scholarship strives to support women in an industry that is mostly male-dominated,” said Castrillon. “That is why I am extremely honored and eager to utilize this support toward my education in order to help both my own career as well as other women pursuing careers in the music industry. I am highly motivated to innovate in the engineering and production areas of the industry as well as in the legal sector. I want to give back to the Hispanic community by getting a law degree to coach other Latinas who are not familiar with the industry.”
Nico Ruggieri, 21, a student at Berklee College of Music majoring in music business and management, from Boardman, Ohio, is this year’s recipient of the Steven J. Finkel Service Excellence Scholarship. The scholarship was established to support the ever-growing customer service expectations of fans, artists and employees within the live entertainment industry.
Already brimming with new ideas on how to enhance customer experience, Ruggieri has impressed his professors with his passion for music, interpersonal and leadership skills, talent as an emcee, business savvy, and strong desire to make positive change for students and audiences alike. Ruggieri is a student ambassador and recruiter in the Office of Admissions at Berklee College and has served as a house manager at the Berklee Performance Center and the Boston Lyric Opera.
“Receiving this scholarship while entering my senior year at Berklee serves as the pinnacle of my achievements,” said Ruggieri. “I plan to continue my diligent work by being one of the first students to complete all three major paths in music business—management, marketing and entrepreneurship—by May 2020. The generosity of Live Nation and the Music Forward Foundation will propel me through my senior year with great inspiration and gratitude. I am blessed and honored to be acknowledged with this award.”
Tamesha Harvey, 21, a student at Georgia State University pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in music management, from Dothan, Alabama, is the recipient of the 2019 Live Nation U.S. Concerts Scholarship. This scholarship supports students pursuing careers in the five core areas of Live Nation’s business: concert and venue promotion, sponsorship and advertising, ticketing, e-commerce, and artist management.
In addition to her studies at GSU, Harvey is a venue operations intern for a local concert promoter, an ambassador for a startup record label, and marketing leader for her college’s annual spring concert. As part of two campus organizations focused on live entertainment and business administration, she has managed student body events and aided in talent acquisition.
“My long-term goals in the entertainment industry are to manage artists for events and on tour,” said Harvey. “I have learned that it takes time, dedication and perseverance to see results in one’s work and for that, I, as a first-generation college student, know that I must continue to set myself up for success. Learning and applying my education in music business has allowed me to take on paradigms outside of my world and view different perspectives through a new lens so that I can precisely interpret and execute clients’ visions. Producing live entertainment is a high-pressure industry that requires resilience, flexibility and a keen sense of detail, all characteristics I continue to exercise in my education and work.”
Scholarship selections were made by an influential panel of Live Nation executives and thought leaders across academic, entertainment, civic and corporate sectors. Reviewers included leading experts from companies and organizations across the country including SAG-AFTRA, Loeb & Loeb LLP, Emerson Bran Management, OAKSway Entertainment LLC, The Williams Group, Los Angeles College of Music, Spiegelworld Entertainment, Keller Williams Group, Illumivation Studios and the American Heart Association.
“In partnership with Live Nation Concerts and the Living Legacy Foundation, Music Forward’s annual scholarship programs offer students, who display an exemplary commitment to their fields of study within the music industry, assistance while pursuing their educational and professional goals,” said Nurit Siegel Smith, executive director of the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation. “We are thrilled to acknowledge these outstanding students with our 2019 scholarship awards.”
About Live Nation Entertainment
Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, and Live Nation Sponsorship. For additional information, visit livenationentertainment.com.
About Music Forward Foundation
Music Forward Foundation transforms lives, inspires careers and champions a more inclusive music industry. Focusing on young people ages 12-22 in under-resourced communities, Music Forward sets the stage for success by providing workshops and showcases to inspire the next generation of music industry leaders and innovators. Learn more at hobmusicforward.org.