Applications are currently closed for submissions.

Applications for the next class will be open in early 2019.

Program Commitments

The program commences on October 1, 2018 and concludes on October 1, 2019

Applicants should be aware that there are several required commitments over the course of the program. Failure to attend any of these will result in the artist’s removal from the program for the year, and they will not be permitted to reapply in subsequent years.

Required commitments are as follows:

  • Participants must attend the Introduction to the CMA and the CMA Foundation (October 2019);
  • Participants must attend the 2-Day Industry Education Course (January 2019); and,
  • Participants must perform for the CMA Board of Directors at a regularly scheduled Board Meeting

Other opportunities may include the following, but are not considered mandatory:

  • Performances at and/or participation in the following events:
    • Live@CMA Artist Visit for CMA Staff (various dates)
    • CMA Songwriters Series (various dates)
    • CMA Industry Events (various dates)
    • CMA Foundation Events (various dates)
    • CMA EDU Events (various dates)
    • CMA Awards (November 2018)
    • Country 2 Country Festival in London (March 2019)
    • CMA Fest (June 2019)

Other program obligations are as follows:

  • Participants must provide social media, streaming, and sales statistics at various points during and after program for a specified period of time to measure quantifiable success.
  • Participants in the program are ineligible for nomination for the CMA Awards in the calendar year they are selected and the calendar year of their program for the following categories:
    • Entertainer of the Year
    • Male Vocalist of the Year
    • Female Vocalist of the Year
    • Vocal Duo of the Year
    • Vocal Group of the Year
    • Single of the Year (as an artist)
    • Album of the Year (as an artist)
    • Musical Event of the Year
    • Music Video of the Year
    • Musician of the Year, and
    • New Artist of the Year
  • Participants must agree that all footage captured by CMA during the program will be owned by CMA, however, the footage can be licensed by the artist and their team upon request.

Program Timeline

  • 2018
    • June 1 - June 30: Submission Period
    • July: Finalist Interviews with KixStart Selection Committee
    • September: Selected Artists are Notified / Announced Publicly
    • October: Program Officially Begins
    • October: Introduction to CMA / CMA Foundation Course
    • October 16: Perform for the CMA Board
  • 2019
    • January: 2-Day Industry Education Course
    • January – September: Additional Program Opportunities
    • October 1: Program Year Ends


Selected artists will work with CMA Staff to determine what dates between October 1, 2018 and October 1, 2019 will work best for other optional program opportunities.