Meet RPM

Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) is a nonprofit agency that provides artists with strategy and support for their activism and philanthropy.

RPM was founded in 2005 by musicians, managers, and advisors from bands including Pearl Jam, The Beastie Boys, and R.E.M. in order to share best practices and lessons learned from their own experiences. The founders put together a board and staff made up of some of the most innovative and successful professionals in entertainment, activism, and philanthropy. Over the past decade, RPM’s network has grown to include more than a thousand musicians, comedians, and other allies.

Our Team

Jessica George

Executive Director

As Executive Director, Jessica leads a team of experts that includes RPM’s Board and Advisory Council. We work together to support artists and their teams who want to have an impact on the issues they care most about. After nearly ten years of grassroots development and organizing experience, Jessica knows how to develop effective philanthropic campaigns that benefit the charities as well as the artists and their teams.

Bertis Downs

Bertis Downs, is an Athens GA attorney/public education advocate. He manages R.E.M. and was a longtime Adjunct Professor of Entertainment Law at the University of Georgia Law School. His involvement with RPM started at a workshop in NYC that resulted in the Vote For Change Tour (2004).

Kathy Kane

Kathy Kane is Bonnie Raitt’s manager and the founder and Executive Director of the ARIA Foundation (Artist Resources In Action), a public charity that supports music industry philanthropy, operates tour greening and outreach programs, and provides aid to musicians and activists in emergency medical need or distress.

Alexis McGill Johnson

Alexis McGill Johnson is a writer, political strategist, and organizer. She is Executive Director of Perception Institute, where she leads work on the role of bias in our society. She is also the current chair of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and former Executive Director of Citizen Change, a nonprofit founded by Sean “P. Diddy” Combs to empower young voters.

Erin Potts

As a social entrepreneur and cultural strategist, Erin co-founded the Milarepa Fund and the Tibetan Freedom Concerts with the Beastie Boys in the 1990s. Since, she has established and led several other nonprofits, including RPM, earned over $10 million for important causes, and served as a trusted advisor to hundreds of artists.

Tim Quirk

Tim Quirk is CEO of Freeform Development, Inc., and was previously Head of Global Content Programming for Google Play and VP/GM Music Content and Programming for Rhapsody. He spent much of the 80’s and 90’s as the singer and lyricist for Too Much Joy, before politely easing his way into music journalism and the digital music business.

Steve Ralbovsky

Steve Ralbovsky, founder of Canvasback Music, has worked in the industry for over 30 years nurturing the careers of artists including David Gray, Soundgarden, LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys, Ben Kweller, The Strokes, Ray Lamontagne, Kings of Leon, and My Morning Jacket while at RCA, and Columbia Records. Ralbovky’s passion for artistry in music continues today at Canvasback Music, fostering the artistic development of a new generation of artists including Alt-J, Grouplove, The Joy Formidable, Frightened Rabbit, and The Orwells.

Ian Rogers

President

Ian Rogers has helped artists embrace technology since the early 90s by building the first artist websites, streaming and selling music online, and connecting artists and fans directly via the Internet.

Michael Skolnik

Michael Skolnik is the Political Director to hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons and President of GlobalGrind.com, a website that serves a multi-racial audience and covers entertainment, style, music, and politics. Michael is also the founder of Dot2Dot, an annual summit of inspiring young leaders engaging on issues facing the future of the generation.

Keri Smith Esguia

Vice President

Keri Smith Esguia is co-founder of Whitesmith Entertainment, a comedy and music management firm. As a producer and head of her firm's comedy department, she works with some of the nation's brightest up-and-coming comics. She also serves on the board of LOCA (Ladies of Comedy Association).

Jeff Berman

Chip Giller

Grist.org

Kristen Grimm

Spitfire Strategies

Stacy Horne

The Battery

Liz Manne

Liz Manne Strategy

Dan McSwain

Geer

Raul Pacheco

Ozomatli

Ellen Schneider

Active Voice

Matt Singer

The Bus Federation

Nick Stern

Vector Management

Deyden Tethong

Jessy Tolkan

Nicole Vandenberg

Vandenberg Communications
  • The California Endowment
  • Chorus Foundation
  • Compton Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • New Venture Fund
  • Nathan Cummings Foundation
  • Strauss Foundation
  • Unbound Philanthropies
  • Vitalogy Foundation
  • Wallace Global Fund
  • THANK YOU!

Donate

Artists’ deep and enduring connection with their audiences gives them extraordinary power to shift public opinion, raise funds and awareness for worthy causes, and inspire the energy and enthusiasm of their fan base toward action.

Support RPM’s mission to help artists making change with a tax deductible donation.

Donate

Or send a check payable to:

Revolutions Per Minute
786 S. Shelby St
Louisville, KY 40203

You can also support our mission by donating items and/or experiences that we can auction on platforms like CharityBuzz. Contact us here for more information.

Revolutions Per Minute is a nonprofit, tax exempt public charity as described in section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Donations are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. RPM’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) is 72-1600331. A copy of our IRS letter is available on request.