Lucius at the Newport Folk Festival (Photo: Ken Abrams)

On behalf of 2018 Newport Folk Festival performer Lucius, Newport Festivals Foundation announced on Tuesday via a press release that they have donated $5,000 to the Harmony Project – a nonprofit that provides free music instruction and instruments to youth in underserved areas of LA. The funds will be used to underwrite expenses for Harmony Project’s Leimert Park vocal/choir program – specifically the teacher’s salary and music supplies (purchasing music, music stands, etc). The choir program engages students in a collaborative choir setting, and incorporates spoken word, poetry, and songwriting into the curriculum.

Of the donation, Lucius has noted in rhe release, “in our childhood communities, we experienced a lack of emphasis on creativity and arts – be it a lack of funding or just the attention and support necessary to nurture artistic development. On the flip side, we’ve also experienced the relief of knowing what it’s like to find a community who understands the importance of expression. It’s very clear that music education also promotes team building, communication, joy, focus etc.. Having somewhere to let yourself go, and to feel heard as an adolescent is of indescribable value. We are happy and honored to contribute to this mission.”

Earlier this year, Newport Festivals Foundation made a $5,000 donation to Brandi Carlile’s foundation, Looking Out Foundation. Over the course of the past few months, Brandi’s team has worked with Seattle Music Partners to identify Lowell Elementary – a school in the Seattle area that will use the funds to create free after-school and evening music programs.

Of the partnership, Brandi noted in the release “thank you Newport Festivals Foundation for supporting the Looking Out Foundation and music education – which is so vital to supporting our youth in Seattle and building the next generation of artists.”

The Festivals also announced Brandi as the newest member of the Newport Folk Festival Board of Advisors. Jay Sweet, Executive Producer of Newport Festivals noted in the release, “Inviting Brandi to join the Board of Advisors was pretty much a fait accompli when we ran into each other at the Grammy’s earlier this year and immediately picked up a conversation about the music business we’ve had running since 2010. She’s so in tune with its evolution and how it affects everything we are doing at the Fort and with the Foundation. Not to mention she’s got a voice that can move mountains and her passion is gloriously infectious.”

To celebrate the donations and Brandi’s invitation to the Board of Advisors, the Newport Folk Festival released a video on YouTube of Lucius and Brandi performing “Dusty Trails” at the 2018 festival.


YouTube video

Of the foundation and the donations, Jay Sweet went on to say in the press release, “Every time I watch this video of Dusty Trails I’m emotionally transported right back to the festival – and I’m reminded of just how transformative music can be, especially when it’s people you’re lucky to call friends creating such a powerful memory . The purpose of these donations is to extend this feeling beyond the festival weekend and empower the next generation of musicians to create and collaborate together.  As I’ve said before, these donations aren’t completely altruistic, they’re a little bit selfish as well – if kids aren’t getting the resources they need now to become musicians, there won’t be any Brandis or Lucius’ to book at the folk and jazz festivals in the generations to come. It all starts with music education, and we can’t thank Holly, Jess and Brandi enough for working with us to make this happen.”

The Newport Festivals Foundation fosters the legacy and expands the impact of its Festivals through educational initiatives that celebrate innovation while preserving the deep traditions inherent in Jazz and Folk music. Click here to learn more and to support their mission with a donation.