The Les Paul Foundation Kicks Off the New Year with Announcement of GrantsJanuary 14, 2016 by Les Paul Foundation
The Les Paul Foundation, whose mission is to honor and share the life, spirit and legacy of Les Paul has kicked off 2016 by announcing several generous grants to organizations who exemplify the spirit and legacy of Les Paul. The recipients of the grants include:
Fairhope Education Enrichment Foundation in Fairhope, Alabama. The foundation immerses its middle school students in the life and legacy of Les Paul through a 12-week course that includes video and audio for students. The course allows students to learn about the brilliant mind behind the electric guitar and how Les Paul changed music with his desire to hear “sounds that no one has ever heard before.” Students learn about Les’ inventions and advancements including multi-track recording, overdubbing, the effect of sound quality in a room, Les’ perseverance in overcoming personal injury, his inventions and his drive to make a change in music and sound. The Les Paul Foundation is providing a grant to support the 12-week course.
The College of Saint Rose of Albany, New York is considered one of the top schools that offer degrees in Music Industry education. The Les Paul Foundation is supporting its innovative Music Industry Program with a grant.
The junior high school and high school that Lester Polsfuss (Les Paul) attended have both evolved into a middle school in Les’ hometown of Waukesha, Wisconsin. In 2014, the middle school was renamed Les Paul Middle School – Central Campus. In 2016 the school is implementing a project-based learning setting for students. The curiosity-based approach of learning by doing projects is how Les Paul learned throughout his lifetime. The Les Paul Foundation is helping the school accelerate its implementation of this new teaching approach with a significant grant.
Continued support by The Les Paul Foundation also was granted to the following organizations:
Guitars for Vets is an organization that shares the healing power of music with military veterans suffering from post-combat mental and emotional distress. The organization’s volunteers provide free private guitar instruction to vets. Those who complete the course receive a new acoustic guitar and all the equipment they need to keep playing. When drafted during World War II, Les Paul served in the Armed Forces Radio. Whenever he returned to Wisconsin to visit his family he made time to visit hospitalized veterans.
Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (H.E.A.R.) of San Francisco, CA and its goal to increase awareness that excessive noise leads to permanent hearing loss was always important to Les Paul. The organization provides resources on how to guard against such damage. In great irony Les Paul, the man who was all about sound, needed to wear two hearing aids.
Like many musicians, Les Paul suffered with tinnitus (ringing in the ears.) To that end, Les’ foundation continues its support of Hearing Health Foundation of New York and its goal of finding a cure for tinnitus.
Little Kids Rock of Verona, NJ ensures that every student has the opportunity to unlock his or her inner music maker as it teaches life lessons and fosters creativity through free after school music programs. The innovative program serves over 195,000 young people in public schools across the United States. Students learn about Les Paul’s recording inventions that shape today’s music.
The Waukesha County Museum in Waukesha, Wisconsin houses one of four major permanent exhibits on Les Paul. The Les Paul Foundation is supporting the museum with a significant grant to help with improving the Les Paul Experience exhibit.
PHOTO ID: Top right (l to r) Sue Baker, Program Director of The Les Paul Foundation and Rob Bennett, Les Paul Middle School Principle.
Bottom left (l to r) Sue Baker, Program Director of The Les Paul Foundation and Dennis Cerreta, Waukesha County Museum Executive Director.
ABOUT THE LES PAUL FOUNDATION:
The mission of the Les Paul Foundation is to honor and share the life, spirit and legacy of Les Paul by supporting music education, engineering and innovation as well as medical research. The Les Paul Foundation is an approved IRC 501(c)3 organization that awards grants to music, music engineering and sound programs that serve youths. This year The Les Paul Foundation continues its celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Les Paul. The foundation also provides grants for medical research. The Les Paul Foundation also supports public exhibits which display Les Paul’s life achievements, events that engage fans and students and music releases and related launches which bring about excitement for the sound of Les Paul. For more information go to www.lespaulfoundation.org