The Les Paul Foundation, whose mission is to honor and share the life, spirit and legacy of Les Paul through the generations, announced that it has awarded grants to organizations across the United States including New York, Tennessee, California, and Wisconsin. Throughout his life, Les Paul was an innovator who changed the face of the music industry with the inventions of multi-track recording and the solid body electric guitar. He supported music education, engineering, innovation as well as medical research. The Les Paul Foundation grants recently awarded focus on the continued support of the efforts of the late, great Les Paul.
“Les Paul always encouraged youth to learn about music and to be innovative so the world would become a better place. The organizations we support help perpetuate his philosophies and ideas,” said Michael Braunstein, Executive Director of the Les Paul Foundation. “We are pleased to fulfill Les Paul’s legacy by supporting these programs that continue to reflect his values.”
Organizations which will benefit from the Les Paul Foundation this year include:
The Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee received a grant towards construction of the Blues Hall of Fame. The project will honor inductees year-round and provide an environment in which visitors can listen to and learn about the Blues. www.blues.org.
Center Stage: Queens Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. of Flushing, New York, received funds toward development of a new location to increase students’ access to affordable music and arts education. www.centerstageqcpa.org
Wisconsin Foundation for School Music received backing to develop a curriculum based on the contributions of Les Paul. The Wisconsin organization promotes and perpetuates music education in Wisconsin schools. www.foundation4schoolmusic.org.
Music Unites of New York received a contribution for its music programs for youth in under-served school districts throughout the country. Music Unites partners with established and emerging artists to present concerts which raise awareness and funding for music programs in inner city schools. www.musicunites.org.
The Soulsville Foundation/Stax Music Academy of Memphis, Tennessee received funding for its Les Paul “Soul School” Spring Break Workshops. The innovative programs motivate the 200 middle and high school students. Academy students have performed locally and nationally and overseas. www.soulsvillecharterschool.org.
Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wisconsin received backing to support the guitar portion of two summer jazz sessions. The Birch Creek Music Performance Center provides intensive, performance-based instruction to promising young musicians by immersing them in a professional, mentoring environment. www.birchcreek.org.
Discovery World in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is home to the Les Paul House of Sound, a comprehensive exhibit on the godfather of the solid body electric guitar. The Les Paul Foundation is supporting Discovery World’s exhibit expansion, its enhanced educational experiences, classes and events that focus on Les Paul with a grant. www.discoveryworld.org.
The Wisconsin School Music Association just announced its 2013 Launchpad statewide garage band competition and the Les Paul Foundation is pleased to continue its sponsorship. Student musicians are offered a day-long workshop, “Makin’ It in the Music Biz.” www.launchpadwisconsin.org.
The foundation has also underwritten the annual Les Paul Award presented by the TEC Foundation at the TEC Awards held in January of each year. This year’s Les Paul Award recipient is The Who’s Pete Townshend.
During World War II Les Paul served in the U.S. military’s Armed Forces Radio Service. Before his death, Les learned about the Guitars for Vets a national program, headquartered in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. The Les Paul Foundation is providing funding to purchase guitars for veterans who graduate from the Guitars for Vets program.
About the Les Paul Foundation
Les Paul formed his foundation as a means to encourage young people to pursue their curiosity and innovation about music, sound and engineering.Recent grants from the Les Paul Foundation include funding to multiple music education programs and to museums that tell the Les Paul story. The foundation’s comprehensive website at www.lespaulfoundation.org connects viewers to numerous resources. The mission of the Les Paul Foundation is to honor and share the life, spirit and legacy of Les Paul by supporting music education, engineering and innovation as well as medical research. The foundation is based in New York.