Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Music Maker Relief Foundation Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced that Music Maker Relief Foundation received an NEA Art Works grant to support their upcoming museum exhibit We Are The Music Makers.

The exhibit will feature photo and audio documentation of Southern Roots musicians active in the past 20 years, all photographed and recorded by Tim Duffy in his quest to preserve Southern traditional music by partnering with the artists who make it. The multi-media materials will highlight musicians performing music passed down by families and community members throughout the centuries. The exhibit seeks to shine a light on these artists who are frequently hidden by poverty and geography, leading some to believe the traditional music they perform has “died out.”

The Art Works grant from the NEA will assist Music Maker in the creation of the exhibit and the events surrounding the official launch of We Are the Music Makers at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC on October 3rd. Associated with the exhibit’s official debut, a panel discussion will be held featuring Roots musicians, moderated by folklorist William Ferris, Ph.D., and open to the public. A Blues Revue performance will follow the afternoon panel discussion in the evening on October 3rd.

NEA Acting Chairman Shigekawa said, "The NEA is pleased to announce that Music Maker Relief Foundation is recommended for an NEA Art Works grant. These NEA-supported projects will not only have a positive impact on local economies, but will also provide opportunities for people of all ages to participate in the arts, help our communities to become more vibrant, and support our nation's artists as they contribute to our cultural landscape."

“We Are The Music Makers is the culmination of twenty years of work photographing and recording the Roots musicians of the American South. Music Maker Relief Foundation began in 1994 to assist musicians living in poverty while sharing their music with the world. Since then, I have worked with so many amazing musicians, and this exhibit allows us to share their stories, images and music with new audiences. We are so grateful to the NEA and all our supporters for helping us make this happen,” said Tim Duffy, Music Maker’s founder.

This project is also made possible in part by support from the North Carolina Humanities Council and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation. The exhibit officially launches on October 3rd and will be up for one month at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC. After that We Are the Music Makers will travel to various venues through the country for the next five to seven years.

About Music Maker Relief Foundation

Music Maker Relief Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit, preserves and promotes the musical traditions of the American South. Since 1994 we have partnered with traditional artists over 55 years old who survive on a yearly income of less than $18,000, sustaining their day-to-day needs while building their careers. Through Music Maker, our rich heritage of folk music will not be lost with the passing of time.

About NEA Art Works Grants

Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts.  The NEA received 1,515 eligible applications under the Art Works category, requesting more than $76 million in funding. Of those applications, 886 are recommended for grants for a total of $25.8 million.

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