The Academy of Country Music’s Level Up – Lift Every Voice Program Opens Applications and Nominations for 2024 Cohort


Celebrated Professional Development Program Sets Monday, October 30 Deadline for Submissions

NASHVILLE, TN – The Academy of Country Music’s LEVel Up: Lift Every Voice professional development program, designed to elevate and drive the next generation of rising leaders in the Country Music industry, is currently accepting applications and nominations for its 2024 cohort, through an application deadline of Monday, October 30, 2023. Candidates are encouraged to apply (or be nominated by their peers) if they have worked in the industry for more than five years and have demonstrated a commitment and passion for making Country Music accessible and welcoming to all.

Individuals selected for the widely praised two-year intensive program will work toward the mission of “expanding the horizons of Country Music to transcend demographics and geography.” Candidates should be driven and high-achieving employees who are passionate about making Country Music accessible and welcoming to all and committed to growing within the industry, as well as innovative, creative, and bold thinkers who are motivated by taking action.

“I’m proud to announce the opening of recruitment for the 2024 LEVel Up cohort,” stated Shannon Sanders, member of the Academy of Country Music Board of Directors and Chair of the ACM DEI Task Force. “Since its inception two years ago, the ACM LEVel Up program has stood as a pillar of progress and unity in our industry. It’s been a game-changer for the dedicated participants who’ve given their all to their collaborative efforts, especially in the landmark partnership with the Black Music Action Coalition, resulting in the groundbreaking OnRamp program. The ACM’s DEI Task Force salutes the Academy for their unwavering commitment to pushing for more inclusivity and equity in Music City. If you’re passionate about pushing the boundaries of Country Music, consider joining our next cohort.”

In the first year of the LEVel Up program, participants learn more about the music business from some of the industry’s key executives, as well as participate in volunteer opportunities. The class also collaborates as a cohort to devise a proposal to expand Country Music’s reach into new and underrepresented audience segments. In the second year, the cohort works together to bring the plan formulated in year one to fruition.

Nominations can be submitted HERE, or those interested in joining the program can submit their own application HERE. The program is funded wholly by the Academy of Country Music at no cost to participants.

About the ACM LEVel Up: Lift Every Voice Program
ACM LEVel Up: Lift Every Voice program is a two-year professional development and enrichment curriculum for rising leaders in Country Music, designed to empower participants to play a pivotal role in expanding the horizons of Country Music into new audiences that transcend demographics and geography.

ACM LEVel Up, 2023 Cohort, who are completing their first year of the program:

  • Sabrina Butera, CAA
  • Nick Coulson, SiriusXM/The Highway
  • Ellen Ford, BBR Music Group
  • Aimee Graham, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Synnovea Halsel, Sony Music Publishing
  • Alex Heimerman, Universal Music Group Nashville
  • Roxy King, UMPG
  • Markus Koger, Smoking Section Podcast
  • Jenn Tressler, Opry Entertainment Group

ACM LEVel Up, 2022 Cohort, who are finishing their second year of the program:

  • Kaela Allen, Singer/Songwriter
  • Mackenzie Cooper, Triple Tigers Records
  • Stephanie Davenport, Warner Music Nashville
  • Morgan Kenney, WME
  • Daniel Killian, FBMM
  • Shelby Moran, AEG Presents
  • Kortney Toney, Academy of Country Music

For more information on ACM LEVel Up: Lift Every Voice program, please visit

About the Academy of Country Music
Founded in Southern California in 1964 as a regional trade organization, the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC (ACM) has grown in the almost-60 years since into a leading association for the Country Music industry. Now headquartered in Nashville, TN and boasting record-high membership of nearly 5,000 nationwide, the Academy serves as a powerhouse advocate for Country fans, artists, and all facets of the business, as well as a supporter of philanthropic work through charitable partner ACM LIFTING LIVES, dedicated to improving lives through the power of music and providing aid in times of need, with a focus on health initiatives. 2023 is another monumental year for the Academy, with the ACM Awards having returned to Texas in May and streamed live for a global audience on Prime Video, still the only major awards show to livestream exclusively. The Academy also remains relentlessly committed to creating a more inclusive environment for underrepresented groups in Country Music, from the boardroom to the stage, and over the last year has launched both ACM LEVel Up, a two-year professional development and enrichment curriculum for rising leaders, and OnRamp, a guaranteed income program for Black members of the Nashville music community, in partnership with the Black Music Action Coalition. For more information, visit or

Courtesy of ACM

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