Applications are currently closed for submissions.

Applications for the next class will be open in early 2020.

Artist Eligibility

Performing artists who currently derive a substantial portion of their income from the performance of Country Music (either as a solo performer, duo or group) and who have demonstrated an active initiative in developing their career as an artist are invited to apply for the CMA KixStart Artist Scholarship. In order to be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria at the date of application:

  • Applicants must be a legal resident of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia.
  • Applicants must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age on the date of application.
  • Applicants must hold a current CMA Individual Membership (or have a pending application for membership submitted before May 31, 2019) – membership information is available at or by calling 615-244-2840.
  • Applicants must have current professional relationships with at least two (2) CMA member companies in the following categories:
    • Publishing Company;
    • Record Label;
    • Artist Management;
    • Talent Agency; or,
    • Publicist.
  • Applicants must have recorded music available for consumers.
  • Applicants must have live performance experience.

The following persons are not eligible to apply:

  • Employees of CMA or members of their immediate family.
  • Members of the CMA Board of Directors or members of their immediate family.
  • Members of the KixStart Advisory Group or members of their immediate family.
    *“Immediate Family” includes spouses, siblings, parents, and children.
  • Artists who have been on a final ballot for a CMA Award, Academy of Country Music Award, Grammy Award, or Country Music Television Award – excepting awards that recognize songwriters (e.g. CMA Song of the Year Award).
  • Previous participants in the CMA KixStart Artist Scholarship program are not eligible (previous applicants are eligible).
  • Applicants who have released more than one full-length album with at least six (6) tracks in the Country Music format are not eligible. This does not include self-released albums or EPs with five (5) or fewer tracks, regardless of the number of EPs released.
  • Applicants who have had a Top 40 single on the Billboard Country Airplay or Country Aircheck charts prior to the date of their application are not eligible.