Founded in 1988, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, Inc. (the Foundation) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the historical and cultural preservation of Rhythm & Blues music, and recognition of contributions of its participants to our musical heritage. The Foundation provides financial and medical assistance, educational outreach, performance opportunities and archival activities to support its constituents and fulfill its mission. The Foundation also presents special events and other programs to recognize artistic contributions and excellence within the Rhythm & Blues musical genre.
Now located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Foundation is a national organization that serves a broad audience of Rhythm & Blues artists and their fans. Programs and services are provided across the country and are often developed in partnership with other non-profit organizations or corporate sponsors. The Foundation’s policies and programs are determined by an active Board of Directors and Advisory Board comprised of representatives of Rhythm & Blues’ diverse community, including artists, members of the entertainment and music industries, and representatives of the fields of education, public relations, journalism, and financial management, as well as other interests.
The Foundation currently focuses on special events and activities that celebrate the contributions of Rhythm & Blues artists and promote public appreciation of Rhythm & Blues as a distinct American musical genre. In addition, the Foundation continues to administer grant programs and other services to address the health and financial needs of distressed Rhythm & Blues artists.
Other current initiatives include partnering with producer Kenny Gamble’s Universal Companies to position Philadelphia as “The Home for Rhythm & Blues” and to encourage the development of the proposed National Center for Rhythm & Blues. The Foundation also seeks to strengthen its ties to new and emerging Rhythm & Blues artists, while continuing to provide services to its core constituency of artists from the 1940s through the 1970s.
Today as the aging pioneers of Rhythm & Blues face ever-growing financial and medical challenges, the Foundation seeks to broaden its programs and services to improve the quality of their lives, safeguard their financial interests, and to ensure that they receive the recognition they deserve. Just as importantly, the Foundation is poised to serve as a bridge, linking the past generations of Rhythm & Blues artists with the current and future generations, thereby ensuring a continuing musical legacy of artistic integrity and greatness.