Musician Changemaker Accelerator Academy: 2023 Artist Cohort

Musician Changemaker Accelerator Academy: 2023 Artist Cohort


Contact Information:
Shaniqua Rudd

Musician Changemaker Accelerator Academy: 2023 Artist Cohort
Social change incubator helping musicians make a transformational impact in their communities

WILDER, VT, January 9, 2023—National nonprofit Music to Life has identified its 2023 Artist Cohort for the Music Changemaker Accelerator Academy (MCA),  set to launch in early February 2023. The MCA is an 8-month incubator that partners with musicians from around the country, connecting them to business training, mentorship and other resources that support their work as change agents in their communities.

The only leadership program of its kind for musicians, the MCA has been developed from best-practice accelerator models in the tech, non-profit, and music industries. Its design has been assessed by Americans for the Arts consultant, Barbara Schaffer Bacon, and its curriculum has been reviewed by Tuck Consulting Group (at Dartmouth College’s Business School).   As a result, the MCA is a highly effective combination of  entrepreneurship & social design instruction, 1:1 coaching, and strategic community engagement activities through which musicians build a theoretical and practical roadmap for making their concept a fundable reality.

“Our work around the country empowers musicians to put their creative ideas for community healing into practice,” says Liz Stookey Sunde, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Music to Life. “Our goal is to help heart-driven artists collaboratively address the causes that need their attention while also sustaining themselves financially and spiritually.”

This year’s musicians hail from Maine, Virginia, California, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Canada, representing 17 genres. 80% are artists of color, a reflection of the MCA’s commitment to DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging).  The artist’s concepts for music-driven change include: voting rights, the dismantling of racism and white-supremacy, gang violence, artist advocacy and equitable access in country music, women's rights, environmental justice, indigenous/cultural awareness, and mental health.

“I'm most excited about deepening my skills on the business side of things--becoming a more effective businessperson, grant writer, and strategist… I learned during the pandemic that my career, my ability to earn income, and my effectiveness as a social change artist NEED me to become a more skilled businessperson.” says Carla Gover, a member of the 2023 MCA cohort.

The MCA is valued at over $7,500 per artist. Each artist receives a participation stipend, acquisition funding to engage with a nonprofit collaborator and matching grant funding. The MCA is made possible by the generosity of The Mellon Foundation, Hipgnosis Songs Fund and Music to Life’s individual contributors.

To learn more about the individual artists of the 2023 cohort, visit Music to Life’s news page.

Music to Life is a national nonprofit, co-founded by Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul & Mary) and his daughter Liz, to connect socially conscious musicians with the mentors, resources and training needed to realize their bold visions for community change. For more, visit

2023 MCA Cohort

Shelley Segal
Saxon Kincy
Carla Gover
Elisa Harkins
Aaron Marfizo
Rissi Palmer
Nicolás Ramiro Valdez