From Reasonable Doubt to 4:44 mogul and rapper Jay-Z has always used music as a vessel to drop lessons and the Brooklyn native will continue to do that through his Roc Nation imprint. According to Billboard, his entertainment agency has joined forces with Long Island University Brooklyn for the creation of a school.
The school—dubbed Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment—will offer courses that are at the intersection of music, sports management and entrepreneurship. The programs being curated by the institution will include lectures from an array of leaders across different industries. Students will also be aligned with internships which will allow them to garner hands-on experience and ultimately be an integral part of cultivating a foundation for success.
Cognizant of the barriers to education faced by students from underserved communities, the school will offer scholarships for 25 percent of the incoming freshman class. “Our proximity in and around New York City’s epicenter of music and sports clearly positions us to offer unparalleled experiential learning and access to professional opportunities that will launch students to success,” Dr. Kimberly Cline, who serves as President of LIU, said in a statement. “We look forward to joining with Roc Nation to offer an unprecedented educational resource that opens up the entertainment and sports world to a new and eager generation.”
To drive community impact, the school will launch a music and sports management-focused summer camp for youth ages 10 through 18. Desiree Perez, CEO of Roc Nation, says the initiative was designed to invest in the futures of New York City youth and will be instrumental in cultivating a solid pipeline of talent. The Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment is slated to launch during Fall 2021.
Efforts like the one being led by Roc Nation are needed, especially when it comes to closing the music education gap for youth. According to Brookings, the lack of support surrounding arts programs for youth has disproportionately impacted students from historically underserved communities.