UPDATED: Hoping to bring more attention to the country’s severe race relations problems, A+E Networks and iHeartMedia announced Thursday that they are partnering on a live event tentatively titled “Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America.”
The event will include a one-hour concert with performances from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Jamie Foxx, Pharrell Williams, Sting, Sia, John Legend, Ed Sheeran, Pink, Miguel, Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Rhiannon Giddens, Tori Kelly and Jill Scott. That will be immediately followed by a special featuring artists, including Legend and Williams, engaging residents in communities like Charleston, Baltimore, Chicago and Ferguson that are at the center of the national conversation on racial inequality and violence.
“The current racial situation in America is at a critical point,” said executive producer Ken Ehrlich. “Today’s musical artists, much like those of the civil rights movement’s history, have strong feelings about what’s going on today, and we’re hopeful that ‘Shining a Light’ does, in fact, give a voice to their concerns, their hopes and their thinking about solutions to the alarming events that we see around us every day.”
Starting at 8 p.m. on Nov. 21, the event will air across the entire A+E Networks portfolio, as well as on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio digital platform. The concert and the ancillary programming will help raise money for the Fund for Progress on Race in America powered by United Way Worldwide. The fund will provide grant funding to individuals and organizations fostering understanding and eliminating bias. It will also provide support to Charleston’s Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church and the broader A.M.E. denomination. The fund will support efforts to address racism and bias through public policy change, individual innovation and community mobilization.
A+E Networks is also making the event global, meaning it will broadcast on 135+ countries upon its kickoff.
“As a global media company, A+E Networks has the privilege of being invited into the homes of millions of Americans every day and believe that it is our responsibility to use this incredible platform to inform as well as entertain. By shining a light on the uncomfortable truth that racial inequity and bias still impact our society, we are looking to inspire people to go beyond short-lived, symbolic gestures,” said Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A+E Networks.
Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO of iHeartMedia, Inc., added “we’re delighted to play a role with these amazing and committed artists to support such an important event for the benefit of our communities across America.”
The concert will be recorded on Nov. 18 at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium. Tickets go on sale at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 28 on AXS.com and the Shrine’s website. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Fund for Progress on Race in America powered by The United Way Worldwide.
Projects like this have been a cornerstone for A+E, which was feted during this year’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards for its commitment to public service. It is also plotting a remake of “Roots,” that will air on History, Lifetime and A&E next year.