Grammy Award-winning alternative rock band, Portugal The Man announced the official launch of PTM Foundation. PTM Foundation will serve as the band’s primary vehicle to engage, advocate for, and reinvest in the communities they grew up in and currently belong to and care for. PTM Foundation’s work is focused on universal issues related to human rights, community health and the environment, with an emphasis on causes directly impacting Indigenous Peoples. The news was unveiled today via Billboard, with an exclusive interview with PTM founding members John Gourley and Zach Carothers.
Utilizing activism, community engagement, advocacy and philanthropy, the band hopes to build community resilience, empathy and awareness through the power of music, stories, art, education and connectivity. What sets the organization’s work apart, however, is a focus on a very unique and often disenfranchised group of communities that is of particular concern for the band: Indigenous Peoples. With underrepresentation in government, erasure and invisibility, these Native Communities face inequities in funding, lack of compassion and disconnection from heritage that results in a range of trauma. Through PTM Foundation, the band is making a global commitment to uplift the sacred voices of Indigenous Peoples, who are often the most informed, yet silenced, among us. (Additional information on partners, grants and funding, can be found attached/below)
“We know Indigenous Peoples face persistent and enduring challenges to their communities, their lands, and their basic human rights, with extremely limited support from the government as well as the broad spectrum of philanthropic institutions," said John Gourley of Portugal The Man. "This is wrong, and our band has decided to do something about it.”
Today’s announcement unveils the website for PTM Foundation, home to more information about the organization’s partners and additional resources and educational tools. The website also includes a short film created in partnership with Filmmakers Josué Rivas and Aaron Brown. A core tenet of the Foundation’s mission is to provide easily accessible information, education, and training opportunities.
In conjunction with today’s official launch, PTM Foundation also announces Get Out The Native Vote, a nonpartisan grant program designed to promote resources that encourage voter registration amongst Indigenous Peoples and increased engagement in the civic process. This is the second official grant program started by PTM Foundation, joining the COVID-19 Native Community Relief grant program introduced in May, which provided funding to 20 organizations that support Native communities with COVID-19 relief. The foundation has plans for future grant programs, to be announced in the coming months.
Having long been vocal in the fight against police brutality and systemic racism, the band recently utilized their Foundation arm to raise money for the Minnesota Freedom Fund via the sale of exclusive t-shirts - designed by artists Wooden Cyclops and Austin Sellers - with all profits directly benefitting the organization.