20 Years Ago, A New Model of Support For Roots Music Was Created
On April 4th, 1994, Music Maker Relief Foundation was officially incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit. Two decades later, that unique model of support has helped over three hundred elderly Roots musicians. This April they kicked off its 20th Anniversary Celebrations with an informal gathering at local establishment The Crunkleton. BluesBeatNews will stay tuned, because the 20th year will be filled with more special events, projects and, of course, music!
In honor of our 20th Anniversary, Tim Duffy (Founder, Director, Musician) has written a new book, “We Are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of America’s Music,” featuring photographs, stories and quotes from the artists he has partnered with throughout Music Maker’s 20-year history. The book will be released in September on Nautilus Press, but we plan to begin pre-selling them soon. This book will be a welcome addition to any blues/roots library. Mine is already on order.
MMRF would not have succeeded over the past 20 years without the support of many fans. As they celebrate their accomplishments, they also look to a bright future. Music Maker is working harder and smarter than ever, helping its artists navigate a changing music industry, finding new and more efficient ways to assist with their life needs and forging new partnerships at home and abroad to present live Roots music to audiences worldwide. MMRF’s work in assisting with life needs is a vital and necessary part of its operation.
Music Maker Homecoming will be the largest gathering of MMRF artists ever!
As was mentioned during the 20th Anniversary kick-off week, this year is going to be packed with special events, projects, and celebrations! So they are announcing a 20th Anniversary Homecoming Weekend, October 3rd and 4th. It will feature the launch of a Museum exhibit, We Are the Music Makers, on October 3rd, as well as a panel discussion with Music Maker artists and esteemed folklorist William Ferris, PhD. If that wasn’t enough for one day, there will be a Blues Revue performance that night!
The following day, Saturday, October 4th, will be the largest gathering of MMRF artists ever! There will be food, celebration and music at the Shared Visions Retreat Center from 2pm – 8pm. It will truly be a Music Maker homecoming for the artists we work with, and an intimate gathering of supporters and friends.
You will want to be a part of it! Tickets for individual events will go on sale later this spring, but they are offering early-bird options for Weekend VIP Passes and Artist Sponsors. Panel discussion and exhibit viewing on October 3rd are free of charge.
For me without MMRF, I would have never had the chance to meet Cootie Stark. He was an American Piedmont blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. And one of the best dressed entertainers you would ever meet. I still wear my Cootie for President button in his memory.
Happy Anniversary Tim and all the MMRF family.
Blues columnist writing a weekly column dedicated to the Blues. The only column of its kind in a commercial (paid subscription) newspaper. Column appears in the Middletown Press, Bristol Press, Torrington Register-Citizen, and the New Britain Herald.
Forcella has served on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation representing the Journalism constituency.
Served on the Board of Directors Connecticut Blues Society as Past President and Past Editor of newsletter.
Recipient: Keeping the Blues Alive award in Journalism from the Blues Foundation.
Has contributed both writing and photos to nationnal blues publications.