Happy first Thursday in May! I hope you have a dreamy weekend dancing around a Maypole (I feel like that’ll be a thing at Fort Worth’s Mayfest) and eating seasonal fruits. That’s only going to take up so much of your time, though, so let’s make other plans too.
The Kentucky Derby is this weekend, and there are opportunities to wear hats and drink mint juleps even though we’re in Texas. The big one is the Turtle Creek Conservancy’s Day at the Races at Oak Lawn Park’s Arlington Hall. This weekend is also Cinco de Mayo, and we have a robust list of recommendations specifically for that. If you’d rather celebrate the culture behind the holiday, there’s a new Latin Arts museum opening on Sunday that you should check out. On an unrelated note, there’s also a giant canine party called the Dog Bowl on Sunday. Find the info for that and a bunch of other fun things on our Things To Do page.
Tomorrow, 300 DISD students will skip school to go to a rowdy hip-hop festival featuring Travis Scott, Lil Wayne, Gunna, Sheck Wes, Bhad Bhabie, and many others. They’ll be swapping out the classroom for the crowd at JMBLYA, but they’re not playing hooky. You can call it a field trip.
The festival recently partnered with Music Forward Foundation, a nonprofit organization within Live Nation, to donate tickets to Dallas high school students from underserved communities. Working with DISD and local nonprofit Big Thought, Music Forward Foundation distributed the tickets as academic incentives. For example, students at South Oak Cliff High School were rewarded with passes for completing their FAFSA applications.
Going to the festival isn’t just a prize for good behavior, though. It’s part of a larger effort by Music Forward to educate young people who are interested in the music industry.
“This experience will be the coolest career day ever! Students will connect passions to professions in the music industry by discovering the variety of careers and pathways to success behind the scenes,” says Nazanin Fatemian, Director of National Marketing and Partnerships at Music Forward.
In addition to donating tickets, JMBLYA is giving students an opportunity to learn about the music industry with a special “All Access” tour of the festival in its earliest stages. Only 20 students were selected to participate, all from Carter High School, and all interested in pursuing creative careers.
Those who didn’t get in on the exclusive “All Access” tour can still get valuable knowledge about the business at a panel discussion tonight hosted by JMBLYA, Music Forward, and For the Students (an organization that produces speaking tours aimed at students interested in music). Industry leaders Sascha Guttfreund (president, ScoreMore Shows), Cortez Bryant (co-CEO, Blueprint Group/Maverick and manager to Lil Wayne), and David Ali (founder, Above Ground Entertainment and manager to Kehlani) will speak about how to build a network, the realities of the music industry, and more.
“By the end of this panel, we hope students will walk away with a defined plan of action for their career paths in the music industry. Additionally, we hope they will understand the skill sets and education levels they can work towards to achieve a successful career,” says Ogden Payne, Forbes contributor and founder of Fort The Students.
The panel, beginning at 6 p.m. at House of Blues, is open to all local students and the general public free of charge. RSVP here to save a spot.