Black Opry Residency

WXPN, University of Pennsylvania



Black Opry Residency artists. From left to right: Samantha Rise; The Kentucky Gentlemen, photo by Laura Moll; Denitia, photo by Noelle Fries; Tylar Bryant; Grace Givertz, photo by Omari Spears.


Black Opry Revue, 2021. Photo by Gabriel Baretto. Pictured: Aaron Vance, ValerEllis Hawkins, and Michelle Jackson.


Black Opry Revue, 2021. Photo by Gabriel Baretto.

A creative residency program supports five emerging Black Americana music artists—Denitia, Tylar Bryant, Grace Givertz, Samantha Rise, and the Kentucky Gentlemen (twin brothers Brandon and Derek Campbell)—who participate in a weeklong residency in Philadelphia in a collaborative space where they can focus on creative exploration, audience engagement, and professional development. To identify the residency artists, WXPN partnered with the Black Opry collective, which offers a platform for Black musicians and Black fans of country, blues, folk, and Americana music. The residency culminates in a public performance by the artists. An accompanying podcast chronicles the project and the participants’ creative processes, expanding audiences for Black artists working to redefine their place in the American musical canon.

The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.