Cadillac Enters A New Frontier In Celebration Of Black Art & To Support The J. Dilla Music Tech Grant Program

Photo Credit: Nyla Hayes

Cadillac’s award-winning Black Future campaign for the 2023 Escalade-V introduced consumers to the industry’s most powerful full-size SUV and a world reimagined with an Afro-futuristic flare. The campaign showcased 13-year-old visual artist Nyla Hayes' Long Neckie Ladies NFTs – 3333 diverse and distinctive women with Brontosaurus-inspired, elongated necks. 

For its first foray into the Web3 space, Cadillac commissioned and auctioned two of Miss Hayes' works: Adira, the Gold Edition Long Neckie, and Adira, the Silver 120 Anniversary Edition. “Adira represents a Black Woman superhero,” said Hayes. “She aligns with the Cadillac brand through her bold, confident, powerful, luxurious and electrifying stance.” The pieces commanded approximately $20,000 at auction.

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In addition to the proceeds from Long Neckie Ladies NFTs, Cadillac is making a $55,000 contribution to the J. Dilla Music Tech grant program allowing the Save The Music Foundation, which has helped more than 2,500 schools nationwide start and maintain music programs, to expand the program to an additional Detroit-area high school in 2023.

The J. Dilla Music Tech grant program launched in Detroit in 2019 with support from Cadillac. The program, named for hip-hop innovator and Detroit native, James Dewitt Yancey aka J. Dilla, features an innovative curriculum that uses tech tools to teach the fundamentals of electronic music creation, recording, production and audio engineering. Administered by the Save The Music Foundation, the 10-year grants are changing the lives of hundreds of students in Detroit. 

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“As the champion of big dreams and bold ambitions, Cadillac encourages students to pursue their passions. We are thrilled to support the Save The Music Foundation and their efforts to get students excited for careers in music tech,” Juanita Slappy, Cadillac’s Head of Multicultural Marketing, shared. “Sound engineering is an important and growing field in the automotive industry, and we’ve seen how engaging this program is in sparking interest in this type of art as a career.” 

In touch economic times, school music programs are a soft target for budget cuts. We salute Cadillac for its commitment to the Save The Music Foundation and for investing in the next generation of Black artists and innovators.

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