Starting out as an emerging artist in Nashville is difficult, to say the least. However, the Country Music Association is launching a new scholarship that will help connect up-and-coming artists with professionals across various facets of the music industry for valuable support and mentoring.

The CMA KixStart Artist Scholarship is named for country veteran Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn, who served as former chairman of the CMA Board and a long-serving board member. The idea for the KixStart program came in 2017 from two of the country music industry’s top managers, Marion Kraft and Mary Hilliard Harrington, whom Brooks commended in a statement.

“Last year when Mary Hilliard and Marion suggested we do something to better aid those artists that could use a little extra help, or a ‘kick start’ to help them over that tipping point, we all knew it was a good idea,” the singer and actor noted. “I suppose calling it KixStart was a little tip of the hat to me for getting this committee going in the beginning. I’m honored, but I’m not taking any credit for this one.”

Submissions for the scholarship will be accepted starting Friday, June 1 here. The deadline for submissions is Saturday, June 30 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

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