creativity

Rex Foundation Announces Jerry Garcia Award and Grants


The Rex Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to supporting distinctive arts, environmental and social services programs through grassroots giving, is pleased to announce the recipient of the Jerry Garcia Award, along with other new grantees.

Arts for Humanity! is the recipient of the Rex Foundation's Jerry Garcia Award in memory of Grateful Dead guitarist and founding Rex Board member Jerry Garcia.  This award honors and supports individuals and groups that work to encourage creativity in young people. We believe the work of Arts for Humanity! (AH!) is just what the Jerry Garcia Award is about.  AH! celebrates humanity through the arts with programs that cultivate creativity and empower people with developmental disabilities, at-risk youth, the elderly and others in partnership with local artists and the Santa Barbara community. AH!'s performing and visual arts programs benefit individuals and build community by giving a voice to the underserved through the power and beauty of the arts.

We made four additional grants to grassroots non-profit organizations doing outstanding work.  In connection with the generous support of the Sacramento Kings that resulted from the February and March, 2011 Grateful Dead Tribute games, the following two local area programs received Rex grants:

  • Sacramento Blues Society Blues In The Schools (BITS) program, which gives Sacramento-area youth an opportunity to participate in a dynamic interactive musical experience with professional musicians. The Blues In The Schools program brings students together with musicians, educators, storytellers, and other performers in a synergistic environment, creating a free flowing exchange of the Blues experience and facilitating a lifelong passion for learning.
  • The Yolo County Children's Alliance, which was established in 2002 as an essential services program at Alyce Norman Center in West Sacramento to address a number of concerns that impacted children and families.  The Rex grant helps support the Children and Families' Access to Food program that provides 150 low-income families with fresh fruits and vegetables and other food items each week. This program, threatened by recent state budget cuts, not only provides essential food and nutrition education, but also enables the Alliance to reach more families with additional support services.

The two other Rex grant recipients are:

  • The Tiburon Salmon Institute (TSI), an organization that teaches school-age youth about salmon, steelhead, and the stream, river and ocean habitats that we share with them, with the overall mission to "Empower Today's Youth To Save Tomorrow's Salmon."  The Rex grant of $5,000 both supports this vital work and helped make possible a matched grant from the Belevedere Community Foundation, thereby significantly boosting the ability of TSI to advance its program.
  • The Bolinas Stinson Summer Camp provides all local West Marin children with equal access to memorable summer camp experiences. Although camp fees are kept to a third the cost of similar camps, many area families are unable to pay even part.  The Rex grant provides funding for The Music Project for the Bolinas Stinson Summer Camp to provide additional activities in the form of music education for the campers, with emphasis on building community through music, especially through the rhythms of drumming.

Click here to learn more about each of these great Rex grantees.

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About the Rex Foundation:

Furthering what Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead started 27 years ago, the Rex Foundation endeavors to fund grassroots programs that are often under the radar of larger funding entities, yet work in bold, innovative ways to carry out essential work toward a healthy environment, promotion of the arts, protection of indigenous cultures, assisting others less fortunate, building strong communities, and educating children and adults.  The Rex Foundation has distributed $8.6 million in grants to over 1,000 programs across the U.S. and internationally, while also carrying out fundraising initiatives that foster creativity and positive community connections.  Visit www.rexfoundation.org for a complete list of grantees and information about current initiatives.

Copyright Criminals Airs on November 29th on PBS

Copyright Criminals, the acclaimed documentary that charts the history of sampling in hip-hop and its modern clashes with outdated copyright law, will air on PBS’ Emmy Award-winning series “Independent Lens” the week of Nov. 29 (check local listings).

The film features in-depth interviews with Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Hank Shocklee, De La Soul, funk pioneer George Clinton, James Brown’s “Funky Drummer” Clyde Stubblefield, producer Steve Albini and many others.

Filmmakers Benjamin Franzen and Kembrew McLeod showcase not only hip-hop sampling’s pioneering artists, but also those whose work has been sampled thoroughly. Ultimately, they ask how should we fix our copyright laws to both encourage creativity with 21st century tools and still ensure that “original” creators get paid for their work?

The broadcast comes as creative technology advances on a near-weekly basis. When the last copyright law was passed in 1998, only 26 percent of homes had Internet access. Today, young people can film, soundtrack, edit and distribute movies globally, all from their mobile phones.

Meanwhile, artists like Girl Talk are shining bright lights on issues of copyright and creativity. Girl Talk’s new album, All Day, released for free Nov. 15, includes more than 350 samples.

Copyright Criminals’ innovative visuals include video remixes by Eclectic Method that illustrate for the viewer precisely what snippets of sound they’re hearing in dense sampling collages.

The film, which Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield called “amazing,” was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. USA Today called Copyright Criminals “a compelling and insightful documentary illuminating both sides of a hotly debated issue.”

Director and producer Benjamin Franzen is the owner of the Atlanta-based production company Changing Images. Executive producer and writer Kembrew McLeod is an associate professor of communications studies at the University of Iowa, and author of Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property, among other books.