It appears “Blackout Tuesday” has begun to show tangible results: Warner Music Group and the Family Foundation of its primary owner, Len Blavatnik, have announced a $100 million fund to support charitable causes related to the music industry, social justice and campaigns against violence and racism.
According to the announcement, an advisory panel made up of appointees from Warner Music Group and the Blavatnik Family Foundation will establish procedures to identify and support those in the music community, and organizations strengthening education, and promoting equality, opportunity, diversity and inclusion. The advisory panel will determine the amount of the financial gifts and timing.
The announcement came just hours after the end of “Blackout Tuesday” — in which the music industry basically stopped everyday operations to protest police violence against the black community, and strategize on ways to support the community and the black artists and executives who have contributed so much to the music industry and culture. The campaign was launched late last week by #TheShowMustBePaused, an initiative created by Jamila Thomas, an executive at Warner-owned Atlantic Records, and Platoon’s Brianna Agyemang, and was supported by much of the music industry, including all of its largest companies.
The Weeknd, who donated $500,000 to black-empowerment organizations on Monday, called on those companies to “go big” with donations this week.
Steve Cooper, CEO, Warner Music Group said, “This fund will support the extraordinary, dedicated organizations that are on the front lines of the fight against racism and injustice, and that help those in need across the music industry. Our advisory panel, which will draw from a diverse cross-section of people from our team and the wider community, will help us be very thoughtful and accountable in how we make an impact. We’re determined to contribute, on a sustained long-term basis, to the effort to bring about real change.”
Minutes earlier, the company also revealed the pricing for its initial public offering, which it announced in January but delayed several weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Blavatnik Family Foundation is exclusively self-funded by Len Blavatnik, a majority owner and the founder and chairman of Access Industries, a privately held industrial group based in the United States.