By Jack Barnes
A+E Networks and iHeartMedia announced today that they will present “Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America” (working title) on Friday, November 20 at 8PM ET/PT. The concert will be recorded at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, November 18th. The two-hour special event will air across the entire A+E Networks portfolio, including A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime, H2, LMN and FYI, as well as on iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio digital platform. The concert will kick off A+E Networks’ campaign to confront issues of race, and promote unity and progress on racial equity, inspired by the response of the Mother Emanuel family members in Charleston and others working for reconciliation and change around the country.
The biggest names in music, including Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Jamie Foxx, Rhiannon Giddens, Tori Kelly, John Legend, Miguel, Pink, Jill Scott, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Pharrell Williams, will join together to perform, including a once-in-a-lifetime series of duets, focused on creating reconciliation and positive change in local communities. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
“As a global media company, A+E Networks has the privilege of being invited into the homes of millions of Americans every day and believe that it is our responsibility to use this incredible platform to inform as well as entertain. By shining a light on the uncomfortable truth that racial inequity and bias still impact our society, we are looking to inspire people to go beyond short-lived, symbolic gestures,” said Nancy Dubuc, President & CEO of A+E Networks.
Immediately following the concert at 10pm ET/PT, A&E Network will air the one-hour special, “Shining a Light: Conversations on Race in America,” (working title) featuring artists engaging a diverse group of residents in local communities at the center of the national conversation on racial inequality and violence, including Charleston, Baltimore, Chicago and Ferguson. Artists, including Pharrell Williams and John Legend, will spark solutions-focused conversations with community members with varying perspectives, including family members of victims, community leaders, law enforcement officials, clergy and organizations seeking to empower communities by fostering understanding, eliminating bias and addressing inequities that break along racial lines.
“The current racial situation in America is at a critical point,” said executive producer Ken Ehrlich. “Today’s musical artists, much like those of the civil rights movement’s history, have strong feelings about what’s going on today, and we’re hopeful that ‘Shining a Light’ does, in fact, give a voice to their concerns, their hopes, and their thinking about solutions to the alarming events that we see around us every day.”
“We’re delighted to play a role with these amazing and committed artists to support such an important event for the benefit of our communities across America,” said Rich Bressler, President, COO and CFO of iHeartMedia, Inc.
The concert and the ancillary programming will help raise money for the Fund for Progress on Race in America powered by United Way Worldwide. The fund will provide grant funding to individuals and organizations fostering understanding, eliminating bias, as well as provide support to Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church and the broader A.M.E. denomination. The fund will support efforts to address racism and bias through public policy change, individual innovation, and community mobilization.
Tickets for the concert on November 18 will be available for purchase beginning Wednesday, October 28 at 1pm ET through AEG Live at AXS.com and shrineauditorium.com. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Fund for Progress on Race in America powered by The United Way Worldwide.
The Fund for Progress on Race in America is under the leadership of an advisory board which includes: Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change; Judith Browne Dianis, Co-Executive Director of the Advancement Project; Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League; Rinku Sen, President and Executive Director of Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation; Bishop Vashti McKenzie, incoming chair of the A.M.E. Church General Board; Bishop Reginald Jackson, Social Action Chair for the A.M.E. Church; Mark Rodgers, President and CEO of the Clapham Group; Shawn Dove, CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement; Van Jones, President & Co-Founder of #cut50; and Kimberly Gilmore, Senior Historian and Vice President of Social Responsibility, A+E Networks. The Advisory Group will be managed on behalf of A+E by Civic Entertainment Group and Values Partnerships.
“Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America” is produced by Ken Ehrlich Productions in conjunction with A+E Networks and iHeartMedia. “Shining a Light: Conversations on Race in America” is produced by Lincoln Square Productions and Ken Ehrlich Productions in conjunction with A&E Network. For Ken Ehrlich Productions: Executive Producers are Ken Ehrlich and Rac Clark, Producer is Renato Basile, Writers are David Wild and Phil Gallo, and Director is Leon Knoles. For Lincoln Square Productions: Senior Executive Producer is Jeanmarie Condon and Executive Producer is Roxanna Sherwood. For A+E Networks: Executive Producers are Paul Buccieri, Rob Sharenow, Elaine Frontain Bryant, Shelly Tatro and Dan Silberman.
Additionally, A+E Networks has made a commitment beyond the concert itself, to produce an ongoing series of roundtable discussions in communities across the country to bring people together to address the impact of racial inequity and bias. The network will bring together local and national speakers to address the power of unity and the detrimental impact of hate on our nation. The network will also produce a series of PSAs to air across all platforms.
About A+E Networks
A+E Networks(R), LLC. is an award-winning, global media content company offering consumers a diverse communications environment ranging from television networks to websites, to home videos/DVDs to gaming and educational software. A+E Networks is comprised of A&E(R), Lifetime(R), History(R), LMN(R), FYI™, H2™, A+E Studios™, History en Espaňol™, Crime & Investigation Network™, Military History™, Lifetime Real Women(R), A&E IndieFilms(R), A+E Networks International(R), A+E Networks Digital(R) and A+E Networks Consumer Products™. A+E Networks channels and branded programming reach more than 350 million households in over 160 countries. A+E Networks, LLC. is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.
With 245 million monthly listeners in the U.S., 87 million monthly digital uniques, over 75 million social followers and 196 million monthly consumers of its Total Traffic and Weather Network, iHeartMedia has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. It serves over 150 markets through 858 owned radio stations, and the company’s radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM, HD digital radio, satellite radio, on the Internet at iHeartRadio.com and on the company’s radio station websites, on the iHeartRadio mobile app, in enhanced auto dashes, on tablets and smartphones, and on gaming consoles. iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s digital radio platform, is the No. 1 all-in-one digital audio service with over 700 million downloads; it reached its first 20 million registered users faster than any digital service in Internet history and reached 70 million users faster than any other radio or digital music service and even faster than Facebook. The company’s operations include radio broadcasting, online, mobile, digital and social media, live concerts and events, syndication, music research services and independent media representation. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (OTCBB: IHRT). Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.
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