Country Superstars Gary Allan, Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood and Wynonna,
Along With Hit Songwriters Odie Blackmon and Brett James and Renowned Producer Mark Bright to Volunteer Time

ENCINO, CA (June 16, 2011) – ACM Lifting Lives® and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities will partner again for the 2nd Annual ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp this summer, June 26-July 1, 2011, in Nashville, TN.  Country superstars Gary Allan, Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood and Wynonna along with hit songwriters Odie Blackmon and Brett James and renowned producer Mark Bright have graciously agreed to volunteer their time with the special-needs campers, at various points throughout the week.

The Camp—a week-long residential program open to individuals with developmental disabilities, talented in music from around the nation—has a dual purpose of studying Williams syndrome and other developmental disabilities and providing music enrichment through performance and education. ACM Lifting Lives funds the costs of the Camp, enabling the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center to advance its mission of improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through research, training and service.

Campers will participate in a songwriting workshop and recording session, culminating in a live performance at the Grand Ole Opry.  At the Opry, campers will reprise their 2011 ACM Awards hit “Music from the Heart” and share an original song they will write at this year’s camp.  Throughout the week, campers will also gain the invaluable experience of visits from top-tier country music veterans. Prior camps have featured artist visits from Kix Brooks, Julianne Hough, Eddie Montgomery, LeAnn Rimes and more. This year’s camp involves more artists than ever, including:

  • Monday, June 27th – 9:30am-12noon: Songwriting Workshop with Gary Allan, Odie Blackmon & Brett James, at University School of Nashville.

  • Tuesday, June 28th – 4:00pm-5:00pm: Visit to Manuel with Little Big Town, at Manuel’s on Broadway.

  • Tuesday, June 28th – 5:00pm-8:00pm: Dinner & Karaoke with Wynonna, at Winner’s Bar.

  • Wednesday, June 29th – Recording Session with Odie Blackmon, Mark Bright, Brett James and Carrie Underwood (closed to media)

  • Friday, July 1st – 7:00pm-8:00pm: LIVE Performance with Darius Rucker at the Grand Ole Opry.

Media: To inquire about covering any of the artist interactive elements listed above, please email brooke@acmcountry.com.

To learn more about ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp or to apply for admission, please contact (615) 343-5322 or email laura.mcleod@vanderbilt.edu.

About ACM Lifting Lives
ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music.   Each year, ACM Lifting Lives provides grants to music therapy and music education programs.  Other giving includes serving members of the country music community who face unexpected medical or financial hardship through the Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund and partnering with artists to improve lives through music. For more information, please visit www.ACMLiftingLives.org.

About Developmental Disabilities
Developmental disabilities are a diverse group of physical and mental conditions that includes genetic syndromes and autism spectrum disorders. Developmental disabilities begin anytime during development up to 22 years of age and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime. People with developmental disabilities have difficulty with major life activities such as language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that developmental disabilities affect approximately 15% of children younger than 18 years of age in the U.S.

About Williams syndrome
Williams syndrome is a rare genetic condition (estimated to occur in 1/7,500 births) that causes medical and developmental problems. It is associated with an unusual pattern of strengths and weaknesses in linguistic and cognitive profiles, as well as intellectual disability.

Media Contacts:

Brooke Primero
Academy of Country Music
(818) 788-8000 ext 1419

Jan Rosemergy
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
(615) 322-8238