The SCALE Fellowship Program

A Program for Black Women in Music


The SCALE Fellowship will provide individualized artist development, entrepreneurial skill-building curriculum, and intentional opportunities for Black women in music to connect, share, learn, grow, and collaborate. Each cohort will accept up to 12 participants for the 8-month residency program. Fellows will receive a financial award with acceptance into the program in addition to funds for: equipment, technology, business development, recording, branding, and legal support. SCALE is developed by Straightforward Consulting and Limelight Studios in collaboration with partners like YMCA Lighthouse, Barrels to Beethoven, and collaborative insight from Black women in the music and creative arts industry. The SCALE Fellowship is supported by the Arts, Equity, Reimagined Fund and Advancing Black Arts Program, an initiative of the Heinz Endowments, Pittsburgh Foundation, and The Opportunity Fund. The program will launch on February 18th 2021. The inaugural program is open to Black women in the Pittsburgh region.

About the Program

The SCALE Fellowship will:

  • create an affirmative space for Black women in music to connect
  • increase the quality of work outputted by Black women in music
  • provide a platform to showcase Black women in music
  • improve the entrepreneurial skill-set and business acumen of Black women in music
  • support the development of an equity-centered, inclusive and elevating local music ecosystem

This project requires co-creation and collaboration from multiple partners in order to develop a  comprehensive strategy that provides immediate and ongoing support to the artists along with opportunities for growth and advancement. Our collective understands the importance and necessity of cross-sector, multilayered collaboration. The project team is comprised of individuals with both expertise and lived experience, including:

  • working artists & musicians that have a national and global platform
  • those with proven experience in designing and implementing programs that support artist entrepreneurs 
  • creative industry professional service providers 
  • producers & engineers
  • songwriters and artist development managers
  • technology expertise for virtual platforms

Program Experts, Panelists, Coaches, and Facilitators Include:

Sondra E. Woodruff II; Musician, Songwriter, Educator, Artist Management

Leigh Solomon Pugliano; Musician, Educator, Business Strategist

David Pugliano; Entrepreneur, DJ, Producer

Jackie Walker; Entrepreneur, Attorney for the Creative Industry

Rachel Cargle; Founder The Great Unlearn and The Loveland Foundation

Eritza Laues; Grammy Award Winning  Songwriter

James Brown; Program Director, YMCA Lighthouse

Brittany Blackwell; Black Women in Music Research Firm

Tanisha Jackson; Attorney, Writer, Music Historian


The application opens on November 27th and closes on December 31st. Applicants will be notified by January 15th of their acceptance in the program. Click on the link below to begin you application.

Support SCALE

The vision for this initiative is the formation of a holistic artist development and advancement program designed specifically for Black musicians, a co-creating space for musicians to work, learn, connect, and the creation of a collaborative framework to help enhance a music ecosystem in Pittsburgh that recognizes musicians, particularly Black musicians, as necessary assets of our cultural identity. Become a program Partner, Sponsor, or Donate to support SCALE Artists. Contact us for more details and information.