Today, The Americana Music Association has announced the creation of the Americana Music Association Foundation (AMAF), a 501(c)(3) educational and charitable organization. As American culture is traveling through a period of tumult and uncertainty, the Foundation seeks to provide musical healing, by preserving and educating the world about the rich cultural treasure buried in the roots music of this country, which includes the threads of blues, bluegrass, country, folk, rock and gospel that make up the Americana tapestry
The Foundation has set out to accomplish this mission through educational programs, musical performances and public events. Throughout the year, its work will focus on the preservation of past legacies and traditions that spotlight Americana music’s heritage while looking ahead to ensuring the future of the genre for generations to come.
The AMAF was set up to be nimble. In recent weeks, it has quietly launched its efforts to raise funds, beginning in partnership with Ed Helms’ and The Bluegrass Situation’s production of “Whiskey Sour Happy Hour” this spring. The online variety show garnered more than $75,000 in donations to the MusiCares® COVID 19 Relief Fund and Direct Relief, which provides PPE to medical professionals on the front line. The Association will continue to mine its own Americana archives to raise funds for various causes.
The primary focus of the educational aspects of the Foundation’s work will include producing the Thriving Roots Institute, an initiative bringing together artists and educators to address historical precedents, milestones and pathways for artists in the future. The Foundation will be making a major announcement for additional plans this month.
The AMAF is committed to the Americana Archival project to preserve the history of this American art form by digitizing unique moments in time, like Johnny and June Carter Cash’s last public performance together at the first annual Americana Honors & Awards, just months before his passing.
The Foundation will work with the existing academic community of ethnomusicologists helping fund new fieldwork to preserve music cultures from the rural South to the Texas-Mexico border, and from the Native American songs of the Pacific Northwest to the folk-fiddling music of Maine.
The Americana Music Association Foundation inaugural Board of Directors includes: Lori Badgett, Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Brandi Carlile, Rhiannon Giddens, Garth Fundis, Dennis Lord (Chair), JD May (Vice Chair), Mark Moffatt, Jonathan Taplin and Kurt Vitolo.
For the latest updates on the Foundation, please visit americanamusic.org/foundation.