Charitable Arm of the Academy of Country Music Gives $279,860 to Thirty-Three Beneficiaries


ENCINO, CA (January 10, 2019) – ACM Lifting Lives® announced its 2018 fall grant cycle beneficiaries today with grants totaling more than $270,000 for a selection of organizations including Arts Wisconsin, Barefoot Republic, Inc., Camp Sunshine Inc., Carnegie Mellon University, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, COPD Foundation, Country Music Hall of Fame, Follow Your Heart Arts Program, Foundations of Music, Glenvar High School, High Hopes Development Center, Los Angeles Music and Art School (LAMusArt), Maryville University’s Kids Rock Cancer, Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, Music for Seniors, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Notes for Notes, Oliver Middle School Drama, Porter’s Call, Project C.A.M.P. Inc., Shell Lake Arts Center, Songs for Sound, Anna’s Place NOLA/St. Anna’s Episcopal Church, The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families, The Onsite Foundation: Possibilities, The Tapping Individual Potential Program of The Community Foundation of Tennessee, United Sound, Inc., Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Vega Productions Inc., VH1 Save The Music Houston,  W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School, Wartburg and Westside Children’s Center. Partnerships with artists and generous giving from fans and the Nashville community enable ACM Lifting Lives to provide funding to organizations that share the same mission, and strive to improve lives through the power of music.

“ACM Lifting Lives has prospered year over year due to the incredible commitment of the country music community, artists and industry and we are thrilled to announce a significant increase in this year’s deserving grant beneficiaries,” said Tree Paine, Chairman of the ACM Lifting Lives. “We look forward to continuing to fund programs in which we are able to improve lives through the power of music.”

Programs funded through this grant cycle include:

  • Arts Wisconsin – Arts Wisconsin is a statewide organization providing a leadership forum for advancing the local and statewide creative economy, integrating the arts and creativity in education, educating entrepreneurs and activists, and engaging policy-makers and the public as a catalyst for dialogue, information, and action. Funds will go towards music therapy program providing two sessions a week, twice per day in the local public-school district (Racine Unified) for Music Therapy Methodology, which includes Neurologic Music Therapy, improvisation and sensory integration and Cognitive Therapy techniques.
  • Barefoot Republic, Inc. – Barefoot Republic serves more than 2,100 youth through Day Camp, Overnight Camp, and year-round service, learning and performance opportunities in Kentucky, Tennessee, and California. Approximately one-third of campers participate in music programming. In 2019, ACM will provide full tuition assistance for 30 disadvantaged youth, costs covering activities, meals, supplies and staffing.
  • Camp Sunshine Inc – Camp Sunshine enriches the lives of Georgia's children with cancer and their families through year-round recreational, educational and support programs. This grant will support the Music Program, with the funds being used directly to pay for the musician hired for 2 weeks of summer camp, for the purchase of new musical instruments and equipment, and to hire musicians for 2 weeks of Sunshine 2U - a hospital program for children too ill to leave the hospital setting.
  • Carnegie Mellon University – Carnegie Mellon University will pay a principal investigator to develop the pedagogy, train the research assistants and music teachers, assist in issuing pre and post-tests, implement the intervention in a six-week study and organize and analyze the all data. The project will then be completed by writing the corresponding research paper on 24-32 participants.
  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles – CHLA relies on the generosity of philanthropists in the community to support compassionate patient care, leading-edge education of the caregivers of tomorrow and innovative research efforts that impact children at their hospital and around the world. Funds will support a portion of the salary of a professional music therapist in their existing Music Therapy Program.
  • COPD Foundation – The COPD Foundation and PEP (Pulmonary Empowerment Program) have established Harmonicas for Health, the first nationwide harmonica program created especially for individuals with COPD and other chronic lung diseases. This year, help will go towards developing an online version of the program, education for leaders and support improvements throughout the program.
  • Country Music Hall of Fame – The Country Music Hall of Fame created the Instrument Trunks School Outreach Program. This initiative provides free resources to classrooms in Middle TN through the loan of instruments which allows students to feel, hold, play and hear the timeless tools of musicians. The goal
    of the Instrument Trunks School Outreach program is to support Middle TN schools and Metro Nashville Public Schools, in particularly in their instructional goals as they aim to improve academic achievement for students most at-risk of not succeeding.
  • Follow Your Heart Arts Program, Inc. – The Follow Your Heart Arts Program provides music education opportunities in the hometown of country music artist Charlie Worsham in rural Mississippi. Funds will be used to purchase instruments, seats for the room provided by the school for instructions and expanding the Songwriters workshop.
  • Foundations of Music Foundations of Music brings music education to underserved classrooms and communities across Chicago. Funds will be used to support its Songwriting/Production Program for students in grades PreK-8, which teaches students to write and produce songs.
  • Glenvar High School – Funds will be used to complete music production rooms for students at Glenvar High School in Salem, Virginia.
  • High Hopes Development Center – The High Hopes Development Center is a pre-school with on-site pediatric clinic, serving children with special needs and long-term disabilities alongside their typically-developing peers. The Center offers a Music Enrichment Program for 148 preschoolers, 60% of whom are typically-developing and 40% having special needs. Funds will be used to assist the Music Enrichment Program with music teacher salary, instruments, and curriculum.
  • Los Angeles Music and Art School (LAMusArt) – Funds will go to support the programs expenses of its tuition-free music ensemble, which includes weekly mentorship and coaching to the students in K-12 in the community of the East Los Angeles. LAMusArt strives to create paths to creative futures by means of arts education.
  • Maryville University’s Kids Rock Cancer – Kids Rock Cancer is an innovative program that helps children successfully cope with the unique emotional challenges that accompany a cancer diagnosis. Through the proven healing power of music therapy, Kids Rock Cancer helps children combat feelings of anxiety, depression, uncertainty and helplessness. Funds will support a 3rd therapist to further develop special programs and camps, provide an additional 25 therapy sessions per year, serve five camps during summer 2019 for a total of 5-10 sessions, which include approximately 75-100 campers total and assist in managing patient data.
  • Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation ­– Mr. Holland's Opus keeps music alive in their schools by donating musical instruments and vital support services to under-funded music programs, giving economically disadvantaged youth access to this type of education. The many benefits of music education, includes helping students to be successful and inspiring creativity and expression through playing music. Funds will focus on Aiken County Public Schools in South Carolina to help with the purchase of instruments.
  • Music for Seniors – Music for Seniors connects area musicians with older adults through live and interactive programs designed to engage, entertain and educate seniors, by delivering programs to groups in recreational and care settings, offering public daytime concerts at accessible venues, and teaching group classes in instrument and vocal performance. Funds will be used to train and schedule more musicians to facilitate additional Music-Making outreach sessions.
  • Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame – Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame mission is to honor Nashville’s legacy of songwriting excellence through preservation, celebration and education. The funds will be used for the Express Yourself Program, a free after school program for middle school students, 5th- 8th grade in Nashville. While in their 3rd year at JT Moore Middle school, the program includes 20 students and this year is expanding to two additional schools. The program is open to all students and available at no charge. Per school, the funds will provide a weekly stipend for the program’s Song Coach.
  • Notes for Notes – Notes for Notes provides youth with free access to musical instruments, instructions and a recording studio. Funds will go towards their Song2Studio2Radio program.  The project will culminate a collective group of songs and podcasts written and performed by youth participants combined with Nashville’s greatest songwriters.  The writers will work with the kids via songwriting, instructions, recording sessions and podcasting.
  • Oliver Middle School Drama – The OMS Drama Boosters believe that a successful drama program creates opportunities for students to grow in confidence while they discover their talents. Students learn life skills  and values. Funds will go towards the expansion of the program serving underprivileged students, and encourages the youth to stay in school.
  • Porter's Call – Porter’s Call serves recording artists and their families by providing them with counsel, support, and encouragement to deal with issues off-stage. The staff currently sees 30 plus artists and/or spouses per week, often referred by record companies. Funds will be used toward counseling hours, so they can continue to offer counseling free of charge to artists and expand available hours.
  • Project C.A.M.P. Inc. – Project C.A.M.P. Inc. offers a Music Therapy program all year round addressing developmental goals in speech and communication, social skills development, behavioral, social, emotional and other skill sets. This allows children to the opportunity to experience normalcy through interactions with peers who share the same health conditions. Funds will include purchase of instruments, educational materials, staffing, facilities, adaptive equipment needs for children with limited mobility.
  • Shell Lake Arts Center –  The Shell Lake Arts Center mission is to provide innovative music and arts education experiences for youth ages 12 to 18, as well as seminars and workshops for adults.  The funds will be used to fund scholarships to musical camps throughout the summer.  In nine weeks, 24 different camps are held for musicians and young artists.
  • Songs for Sound – Songs for Sound aims to provide everyone with an opportunity to live a mainstream life full of sound and language, and music. Funds will provide hearing protection and hearing education materials on noise-induced hearing loss to be distributed by the Hear the Music mobile clinic in Nashville. It will also support their music camp for children with cochlear implants/hearing aids loss.
  • Anna’s Place NOLA/St. Anna's Episcopal Church – Anna's Place NOLA's mission is to promote healing and wholeness of body, mind and spirit in the Treme/7th Ward and Greater New Orleans community by offering academic, cultural and arts enrichment, holistic healthcare and healthy lifestyle education.  Funds will go to oversee the coordination of activities between the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Loyola Music Therapy Department, as well as teach clarinet, vocal music and Project Learning.  It will also purchase instruments and repair costs for existing instruments.
  • The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families – Howard Phillips Center provides children and families a support system and resources so they don’t have to face overwhelming challenges alone. Funds for The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families will go towards four weeks of music therapy classes to 180 children with special needs and their family members over the course of 1 year. It will also cover outside artistic fees, developmental staff time and musical items for families.
  • The Onsite Foundation: Possibilities – The Onsite Foundation provides funding to veterans, first responders, low income individuals and front-line helping professionals. This aids in the healing and rebuilding of those who struggle from the effects of trauma, abuse, stress, mental-health and relationship issues. Onsite Foundation provides workshops and life-changing programs by providing scholarships to participants who would not otherwise receive the experience of emotional freedom Tuition for Veteran's Living Centered Program. Funds will go towards experiential therapy modalities, song workshop & concerts.
  • The Tapping Individual Potential Program of The Community Foundation of Tennessee – The program is an effort to recognize special skills and talents in young people of middle school age and invest in developing their unique capability.  The TIP program works with Metro Nashville Public School middle school students who have extraordinary musical talent but whose financial or other circumstances make it impossible for their families to provide access to individual enrichment. To date, there have been 24 ACM Scholars who have directly benefitted in various ways from the musical programs. They benefit
    from direct instruction.
  • United Sound, Inc – United Sound Inc. supports music educators in creating their own United Sound ensembles through training, support, and organizational resources so that all children have access to meaningful and authentic music education and musical experiences. Funds requested will open this program in 5 Tennessee schools and will cover the curriculum materials and teacher/student volunteer training for the students with special needs in these schools.
  • Vanderbilt Kennedy Center – The grant will support the organization’s existing mission to facilitate discoveries and best practices that make positive differences in the lives of persons with developmental disabilities and their families through innovative research, services, and training for over 50 years.
  • Vega Productions Inc. – Vega Productions Inc. makes music education accessible to all students, especially those in schools with underfunded programs and whose families' cannot afford the cost of renting or purchasing a musical instrument of their own. Funds will go towards covering musical instrument repair costs.
  • VH1 Save The Music Houston – Help kids, schools and communities realize their full
    potential through the power of making music.  Funds would support the Houston Independent School District to provide music education, restore a band program and deliver a general music program.
  • W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School – W.O. Smith makes affordable, quality music instruction available to children from low-income families.  Funds will go towards supporting its annual resident camp, a week-long summer music program for low-income children in Nashville, which would cover up to 50 students.
  • Wartburg – Wartburg offers integrated, comprehensive senior care services for your changing life. Unlike conventional retirement communities, Wartburg provides a wide range of services. Funds will go towards music therapists and peer leaders therapy programs for veterans with PTSD, brain and spinal cord injuries and amputees.
  • Westside Children’s Center – Westside Children’s Center funds would support their Kindermusik program, curriculum programmed and tailored to meet the different developmental needs of infants to five-year-olds through music.  The funds will ensure eight classrooms with nine units of Kindermusik by the end of the year.

For information on guidelines and applications for grants, or to support ACM Lifting Lives’ causes, please visit

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. Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry, ACM Lifting Lives develops and funds music-related therapy and education programs, and serves members of the community who face unexpected hardships through its Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund. Generous donations and the support of artists and fans ensure ACM Lifting Lives is able to fund everything from disaster relief and helping communities in need, to music education in schools and music camps for those with disabilities, to supporting programs that use music therapy as a means to help our veterans and wounded warriors, while providing grants to help them ease back into life. For more information, please visit


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