Music Forward Foundation - the national nonprofit arm of Live Nation that transforms young lives, inspires careers, and champions a more inclusive music industry - celebrated 30 years of impacting music industry young creatives with two Los Angeles-area special fundraising events. The inaugural Music Forward Brunch at the iconic Hollywood Bowl on Sunday, October 1st honored music industry change makers who are doing amazing work beyond the stage and the inaugural Golf Classic at the exclusive El Caballero Country Club on Monday, October 2nd welcomed avid and occasional golfers on the green to golf for a cause. Together the events raised $350K.
Music Forward Foundation Executive Director Nurit Smith shares, “This year already we’ve reached 22,000 young people across 46 states and 49 countries. Our impact is real and broad and deep. We do this through workshops, career fairs, scholarships, classroom curriculum, internships, performance opportunities, grants, and apprenticeships. Youth walk out of our programs with the tools, resources, and the network to turn their passion for music into a lifelong profession. Music Forward Foundation is thrilled to celebrate 30 years, and we look forward to 30 more, and far beyond!”
The Music Forward Brunch opened with a performance by young Music Forward Foundation alum singer-songwriter Hannah Abrahim, and it closed with a rousing performance by Kori Withers of her father’s hits “Just The Two of Us,” “Lean On Me,” “Lovely Day,” “Ain’t No Sunshine,” while KCRW radio host Raul Campos deejayed throughout. Celebrity attendees included rapper Vince Staples, rapper/producer Slick Rick, singer-songwriter Estelle, and actress/activist Charlotte Ross.
Brunch honorees were Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever, The World Tour, whose relentless commitment to sustainability while on the road is revolutionizing the music and touring industry was accepted by Billie’s mother, Maggie Baird. The Executive Honoree Julian Petty, EVP, Head of Business and Legal Affairs, Warner, was presented his award by presenting sponsor American Express’ Tatia Adams Fox and Grammy Award-winning artist Estelle in recognition of his visionary leadership that led to the establishment of the Warner Music/Blavatnik Center for Music and Entertainment Business at Howard University, designed to pave the way for the next generation of Black executives in music. Actor J. Alphonse Nicholson presented Festival Honoree Broccoli City Festival to co-founder Brandon McEachern, who helped create a festival that not only provides a stage for the hottest acts but also their social action campaign: The Power of One, that encourages youth to perform one million positive actions. Allison Frenzel, Education Programs Specialist, California Dept. of Education was the Educator Honoree, for her work helping to lift barriers and carve pathways for young people across California to careers in arts, media and entertainment. And with the mottos of “Unity in Diversity” and “Help Ever. Hurt Never,” House of Blues was the Venue Honoree. House of Blues is more than a venue; it’s a movement, a sanctuary of music, and the foundation of Music Forward’s beginning as the International House of Blues Foundation in 1993. Its legacy will forever shine as a testament to the power of diversity and music. Music Forward Foundation Executive Director Nurit Smith was surprised with a special certificate proclamation from the County of Los Angles marking the occasion of the Music Forward Foundation’s 30th anniversary.
Acclaimed artists like Phoebe Bridgers, Trombone Shorty and Alexander Andre are past program participants and grant recipients. While performers such as Kahlid, Sophia Carson, Lauren Diagle, Martina McBride, Carlos Santana, and Julia Michaels have served as Ambassadors for Music Forward.