2022 Grants Challenge

Foundations for Sustainable Creative Employment


With Support from LA2050 SCLASS LLC will act as a substructure, initiating opportunities for individuals seeking employment in the creative music industry, as well as an authentic, sustainable lifestyle filled with equanimity and welfare. In addition to our music technology and recording arts programs, we will challenge sonic boundaries by making the tools for free expression and employment exceedingly accessible to the marginalized voices and communities that have made Los Angeles the global epicenter of media, arts, and production.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Access to Creative Industry Employment (sponsored by Snap Foundation)

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

SCLASS recognizes the underrepresentation of marginalized communities in music through first-hand experience of minority influence in award shows and charts, all while being voiceless and misled. In 2021, the University of Southern California, Annenberg found that 43.8% of established artists were non-white, and only 7.5% of major label music executives came from ethnic backgrounds. In the top nine firms, every chief executive was white, while only one was female. This needs to change. In addition, the 2020 U.S Music Industries: Jobs & Benefits Report for the RIAA states that total employment increased 18%, while total receipts grew 14.6% to $113.2B. While every metric grew within the range, the only exception in the data set that experienced zero growth was earnings per employee with an annual rate of -0.6%. To combat this, we have been steadfast in our efforts to demonstrate the benefits of diversity in art and the criticality of sustainable employment in the music industry.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

SCLASS’ initiative is two-fold in regards to increasing access to creative employment: first providing welfare via the proper education of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) to creatives of Los Angeles in marginalized communities and secondly offering the aforementioned people adequate resources, livable wages, and overall guidance within the sphere of the recording industry. This will minimize financial disparities within the music industry and provide communities with industry-level practices that current record labels forgo. With aid from LA2050 our aim to accommodate underrepresented voices accompanied by the growth of this safe space and access to our ethnically diverse network of music professionals, can make real, sustainable changes in the industry by focusing on art collectively. Daily operations for our initiative will consist of audio production sessions, artist and repertoire services, singer and songwriting workshops, and informational discourse through social mixers and community engagement. We strive to aid creatives within our local communities in the pursuit of their creative goals and to become a leading, values-driven company in the recording industry that our communities can reliably trust.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Following the success of the SCLASS initiative, Los Angeles will be home to a more diverse group of music administrators, executives and artists who will engender and reshape a new standard of transparency and accessibility in the music industry. With the sustainability of our programs and workshops, historically marginalized groups will be able to experience and participate in a genuine evolution of the arts. Artists and employees affected by our initiative will be better able to live and create freely, where conviction is the main determiner of success. On a broader scale, starting with the proper representation of latinx, black, brown, and asian communities, we envision the underrepresented recording industry personnel living in Los Angeles free from wage-theft, receiving the same opportunity that privileged and predominantly white-male major label employees have received for decades.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

To SCLASS, success means the well-being of employees, artists, and increased representation by dissolving the concept of the starving artist. This begins with the training of eight new members and launching interactive community engagement campaigns. As artists continue to collaborate with SCLASS, we help them develop goals and measure progress, with one of these indicators being listener engagement within digital service providers. During our valued time working with Juice Wrld and Grade A Records, we created projects that reached approximately 30,000,000 monthly listeners, over 3,000,000 with Pierre Bourne, and 16,000,000 with Summer Walker, respectively. We feel very capable in our ability to help marginalized communities succeed forthright. In the long-term we plan to increase the percentage of non-white established artists to 53.8%, women songwriters up from 12.7% to 25%, as well as pushing for at least 30% of music executives to come from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 8

Indirect Impact: 1,000,000