Grammy Foundation


Funds Will Provide Support for Archiving and Preservation Programs and Research Efforts that Examine the Impact of Music on Human Development

SANTA MONICA, Calif. March 26, 2015 — The GRAMMY Foundation® Grant Program announced today that more than $200,000 in grants will be awarded to 14 recipients in the United States to help facilitate a range of research on a variety of subjects, as well as support a number of archiving and preservation programs. Research projects include a study that will investigate the impact of listening to music and how it is associated with emotional regulation in service members with post-traumatic stress disorder, and a study that will research a musical biofeedback-based intervention for epilepsy. Preservation and archiving initiatives include the assessment of Halim Abdel Messieh El-Dabh’s life’s work in electronic music production as well as a project preserving comedy pioneer Lenny Bruce’s personal tapes. A complete list of grant awards and projects is below. The deadline each year for submitting letters of inquiry isOct. 1. Guidelines and the letter of inquiry form for the 2016 cycle will be available beginning May 1 at”The Recording Academy is proud to provide the financial support for our GRAMMY Foundation’s longstanding Grant Program,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation. “Not only have we awarded more than $6 million to more than 300 worthwhile initiatives over the course of this program, but we have funded such a diverse and outstanding group of grantees and significant projects that the Foundation has become a driving philanthropic force in the fields of archiving, preservation and scientific research.”

Generously funded by The Recording Academy, the Grant Program provides funding annually to organizations and individuals to support efforts that advance the archiving and preservation of the recorded sound heritage of the Americas for future generations, as well as research projects related to the impact of music on the human condition. In 2008 the Grant Program expanded its categories to include assistance grants for individuals and small- to mid-sized organizations to aid collections held by individuals and organizations that may not have access to the expertise needed to create a preservation plan. The assistance planning process, which may include inventorying and stabilizing a collection, articulates the steps to be taken to ultimately archive recorded sound materials for future generations.

Preservation Assistance

Laurel Myers Hurst — Kent, Ohio
Awarded: $5,000
Halim Abdel Messieh El-Dabh (b. 1921) pioneered the fields of electronic music composition, sound art, ethnomusicological research and black studies. El-Dabh has retained a vast quantity of audio- and video-recorded concerts and field research. Completing organization and annotation of his collected life’s work while El-Dabh, at 93 years of age, can provide insight and guidance is critical for future analysis of 20th century musical literature.

Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music — Bloomington, Ind.
Awarded: $5,000
This joint effort of the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music and the Starr Gennett Foundation will inventory and catalog 1,200 78 rpm discs. From 1917 to 1934 Starr Gennett Records released early jazz, blues, gospel, country, and many other genres. ATM will digitally preserve the discs, but first the discs must be cataloged. The discs will then be made available for research at Indiana University and via a kiosk exhibit to be used by the Starr Gennett Foundation.

Preservation Implementation

Appalshop Inc. — Whitesburg, Ky.
Awarded: $10,000
Since 1987, Appalshop’s annual Seedtime on the Cumberland Festival has featured live music and storytelling performances by legends of traditional Appalachian artistry. The goal of this project is to migrate 112 hours of reel-to-reel and DAT festival recordings, which will preserve and improve access to these unique, historic concerts. The digitized audio will be made available online to researchers and the public.

Arhoolie Foundation — El Cerrito, Calif.
Awarded: $12,200
The Arhoolie Foundation will digitally preserve, transcribe and make accessible — online, in streaming audio and text transcriptions— approximately 80 hours of musician interviews conducted by Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz between 1960 and 1984. This one-of-a-kind collection, existing only on original tapes in the Arhoolie Foundation vault, includes conversations with such giants of American music as Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Lydia Mendoza, and Clifton Chenier.

Association for Cultural EquityNew York
Awarded: $20,000
The Alan Lomax Archive will digitize, catalog and disseminate (online and to communities of origin) the 27 hours of audio recordings made during the groundbreaking 1941–42 Library of Congress-Fisk University research study in Coahoma County, Miss. The most diverse aural representation ever documented of the Mississippi Delta’s African-American musical traditions, the collection also includes the first recordings of such legendary musicians as Muddy Waters and David “Honeyboy” Edwards.

Boston Symphony Orchestra Inc. — Boston
Awarded: $10,000
This project will preserve the most important audio recordings of the Tanglewood Music Center dating back to 1966, including all TMC orchestra concerts, the Festival of Contemporary Music, Composer’s Forums, and Opening Ceremonies. Currently at risk due to their physical condition and obsolete format, once preserved these tapes will be safe from further deterioration and made discoverable online via a newly created search engine.

Brandeis University — Waltham, Mass.
Awarded: $20,000
Lenny Bruce is one of the foremost comedic talents and social critics of the modern era. His pioneering use of comedy as commentary has helped shape public expression since the 1960s and has made him an icon of free speech. This project will digitize and open access to Bruce’s personal tapes of his performances, rehearsals and home sessions. These historic recordings are very fragile and will be lost without urgently needed restoration and reformatting.

Creative Music Foundation Inc. — Woodstock, N.Y.
Awarded: $13,720
The Creative Music Foundation will finalize the restoration of 121 newly discovered audiotapes from the Creative Music Studio Archive, totaling 551 recordings of innovative performances by pioneer composer/performers of jazz, world music and contemporary music. The CMS collection of recordings is unique in its artistic scope and depth and is being archived at the Columbia University Library in New York, for research and educational use. Excerpts will be made available online.

Great American Songbook Foundation Carmel, Ind.
Awarded: $10,000
The grant award will provide partial funding to the Great American Songbook Foundation for digitizing approximately 1,300 highly endangered lacquer discs from the Meredith Willson, Hy Zaret and Johnny Burke collections. Once digitized, the public will have access to these recordings on the foundation’s website. This project is the first of several digitization projects for the organization, based on recommendations made during a 2013 preservation assessment funded by the GRAMMY Foundation.

University of North Texas — Denton, Texas
Awarded: $16,650
This funding will be used to digitize the 360 oldest reel-to-reel recordings in the university’s Willis Conover Collection for preservation, and to provide access to the historical interviews of jazz musicians, performances, and broadcasts they contain through the UNT Digital Library.

Scientific Research

Drexel University — Philadelphia
Awarded: $20,000
Post-traumatic stress disorder affects a large number of U.S. service members. PTSD is associated with abnormalities in brain areas that play a crucial role in the regulation of emotions. Music has been shown to influence activity in these same brain structures. This project will be the first neuroimaging investigation of the impact of music listening on cortical brain structures associated with emotional regulation in service members with PTSD.  This study is a collaboration between Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions and the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

McGill University — Montreal
Awarded: $20,000
Autism is a childhood disorder characterized by debilitating impairments in social understanding and behavior and is the most prevalent childhood disorder. Recent research has focused on cognitive strengths in autism under the enhanced perceptual functioning model. These strengths include memory for pitch and visual information. Funding will aid this project in determining whether memory for pitch develops atypically in autism and its relationship to visual strengths.

New York University School of Medicine — New York
Awarded: $20,000
Stroke is the leading cause of disability with disproportionately high prevalence in underserved minority communities. Through group music making, this project will test the efficacy and underlying mechanisms of an enriched environment that integrates music therapy and occupational therapy, to enhance upper limb recovery in underserved minority groups as compared to traditional therapy.

Wesleyan University — Middletown, Conn.
Awarded: $20,000
Patients with epilepsy suffer from seizures: abnormal electrical activity in the brain that is detectable using electroencephalography. The project will include three studies that combine EEG sonification, translational research and basic neuroscience to build a musical biofeedback-based intervention for epilepsy. Results will apply music technology as a possible solution to a neurological disorder affecting 65 million people worldwide.

The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1988 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with its founder, The Recording Academy, to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage. In recognition of the significant role of teachers in shaping their students’ musical experiences, The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation are partnering to present their third annual Music Educator Award. Open to current U.S. music teachers in K through college, the Music Educator Award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards ceremony during GRAMMY Week 2016. For more information on the Music Educator Award, please visit For more information about the Foundation, please visit For breaking news and exclusive content, please like “GRAMMY in the Schools” on Facebook and follow @GRAMMYFdn on Twitter and Instagram.

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