Rising Artist:
brz [2022 Cohort]

What We Believe

Our Mission

The Rising Artist Foundation elevates a broad spectrum of voices in American music. We foster creative and professional growth in the early stages of a musician’s career to nurture uncompromising artistic expression.

Our Vision

We envision an America in which the music industry is demystified, diversified and accessible for talented people both on stage and behind the scenes. We foresee a system where new musicians are healthy, educated and financially stable — with agency over their craft and careers.


Ben RafsonExecutive Director Specialized in artist management and development since 2010, Ben has secured over $1M in grants, run multiple record labels and driven award-winning creative partnerships.
Nereya OtienoManaging Director Nereya has spearheaded narrative branding, communications and creative strategy in arts nonprofits across the US and Europe since 2009.


Executive Board

Binta Niambi BrownLawyer and Music Executive, Omalily Projects
Jane Thornton JonesPhilanthropist, The Flora L. Thornton Foundation
Adam FarrellCreative Partner, Loma Vista Recordings
Jake FriedmanCofounder, Crush Works


Artist Trustees

Moses Sumney
Taja Cheek/L’Rain


Advisory Board


Dakota OrtizVice President for Impact & Inclusion, William Morris Endeavor
Raihan AnwarWeb3 Entrepreneur, Friends With Benefits
Carrie TollesFounder, TCB Public Relations
Khalia DouzeNational Publicist, Biz3
Kosta ElchevCreative Entrepreneur, Department of Culture & Technology (COLORSxSTUDIOS, GRIMES, ENDEL)
David JacobsLawyer & Partner, Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks
John ChaoMedia, Formerly COO of New York Public Radio


Made Possible By Our Partners

Contact Us