The Blues Music Foundation Announces Major Blues Grants; Nearly $200,000 to Blues Preservation Organizations

Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues - A Musical Journey
Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues – A Musical Journey
Seattle (Washington), USA – The Blues Music Foundation, a non-profit organization launched during 2003’s “Year of the Blues” celebration, is set to distribute this year $195,000 in grants, a foundation spokesperson announced today. The money is to go to organizations and museums that celebrate and preserve the blues, one of the United States of America’s most important music treasures.

The available money comes from the net proceeds of the “Year of the Blues” kick-off concert, held at Radio City Music Hall in February, 2003, and from CD/DVD royalties of the critically acclaimed 2004 blues documentary, “Lightning in a Bottle”, directed by Antoine Fuqua and executive produced by Martin Scorsese.

In addition to celebrating great blues music, we always wanted to make sure that proceeds from this endeavor flowed back to the musicians and to efforts to keep this wonderful music alive,” said Scorsese.

The Radio City Music Hall concert is recognized by many blues fans to have been one of the greatest onstage assemblages of blues luminaries ever. Both the concert and the film that came from it paid tribute to the blues and presented many of its top performers, including B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Natalie Cole, Ruth Brown, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Robert Cray, the late Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Gregg Allman, the Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Mavis Staples, and many more.

The “Year of the Blues” also included a museum exhibit at Experience Music Project, the Seattle-based interactive music museum that produced the concert, and Martin Scorsese’s, “The Blues“, the six-hour 2003 public television series
presented by Vulcan Productions and Reverse Angle in association with Cappa Productions and Jigsaw Productions. The acclaimed series featured films by Charles Burnett, Clint Eastwood, Mike Figgis, Marc Levin, Richard Pearce, Wim Wenders and Martin Scorsese.

We are very excited about the opportunity to distribute funds to blues organizations that are dedicated to keeping the blues a vibrant music form in the 21st century,” said Robert Santelli, Executive Director of the Blues Music Foundation and EMP’s Artistic Director. “The Blues Music Foundation extends its gratitude to the many great blues artists who played the concert and appeared in the film, and to Martin Scorsese, whose generosity and vision have been the cornerstones of this fund-raising effort.”

The Blues Music Foundation is currently accepting applications to underwrite projects that promote blues education, assist organizations with special blues-related needs, and support other worthy blues causes.

Applications and funding criteria are available online at www.EMPlive.org/BMF or by writing to: The Blues Foundation c/o Experience Music Project, 330 Sixth Avenue North, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98109. Applications must be postmarked no later than July 31, 2006. Grant winners will be announced in the fall.

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