The Soulsville Foundation and the Blues City Cultural Center will each receive a $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Congressman Steve Cohen announced Friday.
Both are arts education organizations that serve young people in Memphis. Founded in 1998 as the Ewarton Foundation, the Soulsville Foundation is the parent organization of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Stax Music Academy, and Soulsville Charter School.
“Our mission is really to think about legacy, students and next-generation artists,” said Richard Greenwald, CEO of the Soulsville Foundation. In line with that mission, he said the funds will go toward programming, including enhancing the museum’s Black History Month Virtual Tour and Stax’s Black History Month Concert. Music Academy.
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Blues City Cultural Center is a black cultural arts organization that uses visual, creative and performing arts as a platform for education, engagement and empowerment of marginalized communities.
BCCC executive director Ayana Williams said the center has halted some of its programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She hopes to use the funds to revitalize the organization by paying professors and art directors and investing in marketing strategies.
“The Blues City Cultural Center is definitely reaping the rewards, hard work and longevity that they are now able to not only keep for themselves, but share with others and continue to make an impact,” Williams said. about the 43 years of the organization. story of the year. “So that lets us know that the work we’re doing is much needed and definitely recognized.”
The grants are part of the US bailout, which aims to help people facing hardship due to the pandemic.
“Stax Music Academy, one of music’s premier institutions, inspires our next generation with the legacy and skills of a Memphis musical tradition, and the Blues City Cultural Center has been a gem on the Memphis arts scene for more than four decades. We are sure to see the fruits of this investment,” Cohen said in a press release.
Astrid Kayembe covers South Memphis, Whitehaven and Westwood. She can be reached at [email protected], (901) 304-7929 or on Twitter @astridkayembe_.