Powered by Darkspark, the VERSIONS Youth Fellowship will support 30 emerging artists of colour from around the world. Throughout the one-year virtual program, Fellows will collaborate with artists, music producers, a network of thought leaders, organizations, and brands. They will create and release music and stories that inspire social change, build their leadership and creative skills, and transform their vision for a better world into direct community action.
VERSIONS identifies 30 young changemakers, ages 16-24, and accelerates their journey to success. Each Fellow will professionally write, record and release their own song over a celebrity-produced beat, and be featured in short films telling their personal and artist story, which will be shared far and wide.
Fellows will participate in an inaugural summit, and attend monthly skill-building events. Throughout the year, each Fellow will conceptualize a social impact project of their own design, and pursue a personalized plan with Darkspark support to implement their project in their home-community. The Fellowship includes:
- Mentorship in:
- songwriting and music production with established artists and industry professionals
- leadership, entrepreneurism, social enterprise, and financial literacy
- tools, frameworks, and skillsets for confronting racism and pursuing equity
- self-development - access to mental and physical health tools and workshops with wellness experts
- A Creation Kit, containing a Smartphone, Blue USB microphone, Zoom recorder, Shure Headphones, recording software and more!
- Professional networking within the creative industry
- One-on-one support to assist each Fellow in realizing their social justice vision for their community
- A professionally produced song and content campaign, with distribution and amplification through partner channels
BIPOC* youth aged 16-24 who:
*Black, Indigenous, People of Colour
are passionate about expressing themselves through song, in any genre, at any level
are enthusiastic about social justice and have ideas for how they want to change the world
are able to effectively express themselves in English
have regular access to either a computer or smartphone and an internet connection
can commit to approximately 25 hours a month attending events and working toward Fellowship goals
Grammy Winning Artist / Mentor
Dr. Carolyn Cooper
Educator / Elder
Recording Artist / Elder
Dr. Maya Soetoro
Educator / Mentor
Grammy Nominated Producer / Mentor
Dub Poet / Elder
The application portal will be open from March 1st - April 15th. Applicants will be required to answer short questions and submit two videos, sharing their life story and showcasing their musical talent.
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Founded by musicians, Darkspark is a not-for-profit organization representing a culturally diverse network of recording artists, music producers, educators, and filmmakers who harness pop culture as a catalyst for social change. Through a variety of songwriting, recording, and digital storytelling projects, Darkspark inspires youth to use the power of their voice to reduce prejudice and promote intercultural understanding.
We believe investing in young people is the best strategy to solve challenging social issues. We believe pop culture can be a force of social change. Join us.