Les Paul Foundation Starts New Year With Generous Grants
Anybody who has lived in the past 50 years knows who Les Paul is. One of the most recognizable guitars of all time, rockers like Slash, Zak Wylde, and Eric Clapton proudly sport their axes created by one of the guitar world’s most prolific innovators.
Prior to his passing in 2009, Les Paul formed his foundation 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 complete press release, and list of 2014 grants, are as follows:
The Les Paul Foundation, whose mission is to honor and share the life, spirit and legacy of Les Paul through the generations, has kicked off 2014 with the announcement of several generous grants to organizations who exemplify the spirit and legacy of Les Paul. Throughout his life, Les Paul was an innovator who changed the face of the music industry with the inventions of multi-track recording, the solid body electric guitar and multiple recording techniques. He supported music education, engineering, innovation, medical research and several other causes throughout his life.
Organizations which will receive new grants from the Les Paul Foundation include:
VH1 Save the Music Foundation will receive an initial grant from the Les Paul Foundation for the organization’s continued effort to provide schools with instruments for music education. VH1 Save the Music Foundation is dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in America’s public schools and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. Over 2.3 million children have directly benefitted from VH1 Save the Music programs to date. (www.vh1savethemusic.org).
Wisconsin Foundation for School Music will receive support for Launchpad, its statewide garage band competition and Music Biz Day program for young musicians. The organization promotes and perpetuates music education in Wisconsin schools. (www.foundation4schoolmusic.org).
Soulsville Foundation/Stax Music Academy of Memphis, Tennessee received funding for its Les Paul Spring Break Workshops. The innovative program provides a guitar summit with master classes and clinics to middle and high school students. Academy students have performed locally, nationally and overseas. (www.soulsvillecharterschool.org).
Guitars for Vets shares the healing power of music with military veterans by providing free private guitar lessons and a guitar to each student. Research shows that guitar lessons help to restore the feeling of joy and purpose that can be lost after suffering trauma. Guitars for Vets concentrates on guitar lessons which offer the opportunities for self-expression and positive human interaction to military with PTSD and other forms of combat related injuries. The organization has 35 chapters in 15 states. The Les Paul Foundation’s support will help expand the program. (www.guitars4vets.org).
Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum is located in the historic downtown district of Les Paul’s hometown, Waukesha, Wisconsin. The new permanent exhibit in honor of Les Paul: The Wizard of Waukesha debuted on the anniversary of his 98th birthday, June 9th, 2013. The Les Paul Foundation’s grant will benefit the exhibit and the Les Paul Sound Lab for children, furthering the tribute to Les Paul and his strong connection to Wisconsin. (www.waukeshacountymuseum.org).
Mahwah Museum in New Jersey will receive a grant to support the popular exhibit Les Paul in Mahwah. Visitors to the Les Paul exhibit learn about the long-time Mahwah resident, inventor, musician and self-taught engineer through visual displays, interactive “how-to” exhibits, artifacts and educational programs. (www.mahwahmuseum.org)
“We feel privileged and excited to support these organizations with grants from The Les Paul Foundation,” said Michael Braunstein, Executive Director of The Les Paul Foundation. “Throughout Les’ life he remained steadfast in his belief that everyone deserved the opportunity to experience, enjoy, learn or heal through the gift of music. We know that the support we are providing will help continue