Encino, CA (November 3, 2011) – ACM Lifting Lives®  took the windy city by storm recently, hosting the first-ever stand-alone benefit concert and giving away $75,000 in gifts to Chicago-based charities that align with Lifting Lives’ mission of improving lives through the power of music.  The full ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors also traveled to Chicago for one of its annual meetings.

Headlined by ACM and GRAMMY Award winner LeAnn Rimes and featuring a performance by singer/ songwriter Crystal Bowersox, “Lifting Lives at Joe’s Bar” took place at current ACM Nightclub of the Year, Joe’s Bar Chicago, which generously underwrote the cost of the entire event—including food and drinks for every ticket buyer—so that every ticket purchase would go directly to the work of ACM Lifting Lives.  The 3-hour event sold out and raised more than $11,000 on Monday, August 15.  The club’s owner, Ed Warm, helmed the event.

“The generosity that Ed Warm has shown to ACM Lifting Lives is unparalleled,” said Gayle Holcomb, Chairman of ACM Lifting Lives. “He took a small idea and turned it into a very successful first-ever club event for charity, which in turn benefits so many worthy organizations.”

“As someone whose life revolves around the music industry, I am honored to help support ACM Lifting Lives in their efforts to improve lives through the power of music,” said Warm. “The night was very special for everyone who attended and we can’t thank LeAnn and Crystal enough.”

Chicago-based philanthropies were also recognized by ACM Lifting Lives with charitable gifts totaling $75,000, a move that underlines Lifting Lives’ dedication to developing a network of like-minded organizations who endeavor to do good in key cities, nationwide.  Organizations that received funding include:

  • Chicago Children’s Choir, a multiracial, multicultural choral music education organization, received a grant of $10,000.  The organization shapes the future by making a difference in the lives of children and youth through musical excellence, reaching 3,000 children ages 8-18 at 60 schools and community sites throughout Chicago.  For more information, log on to www.ccchoir.org.

  • Merit School of Music, a non-profit community music school that provides music education to 6,000 Chicago-area children, from infants through age 18, received a grant of $20,000.  Merit seeks to help young people achieve their full potential, to remove economic barriers to participation and to stimulate personal and educational growth through music.  For more information, log on to www.meritmusic.org.

  • Ravinia Festival, which works to ensure that schoolchildren benefit from music education, received a grant of $20,000. More than 75,000 are served through Ravinia’s REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs each year, and their Music Discovery program serves thousands of K-3rd grade students in Chicago Public Schools.  For more information, log on to www.ravinia.org.

  • Snow City Arts, which provides hospitalized children with art and music education, received a grant of $25,000.  The organization—committed to improve the lives of hospitalized children by providing them with the educational outlets they lack due to their need for treatment—has served more than 15,000 children in Chicago and brings programs to more than 2,000 hospitalized children annually. For more information, log on to www.snowcityarts.org.

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.

CAPTION 1:  LeAnn Rimes performing at Lifting Lives at Joe’s Bar (Jeff Dykhuis/Courtesy of ACM Lifting Lives)

Media Contacts:                       
Brooke Primero                                             
Academy of Country Music                        
(818) 788-8000