2004 Grantee Profiles
Biography by Tom Ewing
|Ralph J. Gleason Award. William Smith Monroe was born near the little town of Rosine in Ohio County, Kentucky in 1911. Inspired by the fiddling of his uncle Pendleton Vandiver (Uncle Pen) and the blues of Arnold Shultz, a local black musician, Monroe taught himself to play the mandolin and, while still a child, resolved to develop his own style of playing the instrument. By the 1930s his brilliant instrumental and vocal abilities were largely responsible for the success of the renowned Monroe Brothers duo, and in the 1940s, after forming his own band, the Blue Grass Boys, and joining the cast of the Grand Ole Opry, he spearheaded the development of a new style of country music which came to be called bluegrass (a name which, by then, was synonymous with Bill Monroe). For the next fifty years he toured relentlessly and recorded prolifically, inspiring many with his music, now known and appreciated throughout the world. Monroe died in 1996, and, since that time, only one biography has been published, a superficial account based largely on hearsay. Tom Ewing earned degrees in Journalism (1973) and Education (1976) at Ohio State University. After teaching for the Columbus Public Schools for seven years, he joined Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in 1986. During the next ten years, he toured the world with Monroe and recorded several albums with him, including the Grammy Award-winning Southern Flavor. In 1994, Ewing also began writing a monthly column for Bluegrass Unlimited magazine and in 2000, he compiled and edited a critically-acclaimed collection of writings about the Father of Bluegrass, The Bill Monroe Reader, published by the University of Illinois Press.|
Scholarship Fund in honor of Wavy Gravy
|Jerry Garcia Award. Camp Winnarainbow is a non-profit circus and performing arts summer camp that provides a small, protected environment where each summer, 700 children try new activities and ways of interrelating to one another. The Camp values the uniqueness of each individual within the diverse racial, cultural, economic and religious backgrounds that comprise the community. Camp Winnarainbow provides a training ground to nurture leaders for a peaceful, harmonious and sustainable culture.|
|International Senior Lawyers Project
31 W. 52nd St., 9th Floor
New York, NY 10019
|Bill Graham Award. The International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) provides volunteer legal services by highly skilled and experienced attorneys to advance democracy and the rule of law, protect human rights and promote equitable economic development worldwide. Through the pro bono work of retired and active practitioners, working independently and with law firms, ISLP helps governments and citizens develop and implement legal reforms, assists programs that advance the social and economic well-being of people in developing countries and builds the capacity of local organizations and professionals to meet the needs of their communities.
Since the Fall of 2001, ISLP has focused on three program areas: 1) human rights and social welfare; 2) economic development and participation in the global economy; and 3) access to justice. With a paid staff of two and considerable help from its Board of Directors, ISLP has organized the work of highly skilled volunteer lawyers and law firms on 44 projects in or affecting more than 25 countries.
|Albany Park Theater Project
Laura Wiley Co-Director
P.O. Box 257995
Chicago, IL 60625
|Founded in 1996, the Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) is a multi-ethnic ensemble of teenagers creating original performance works out of real-life stories from Chicago’s immigrant, working class Albany Park neighborhood. The program emphasizes three goals: To 1) Create dynamic original theater that represents the real stories of teens and other Albany Park community members in a manner that culturally, economically and age-diverse audience finds compelling, challenging and inspiring; 2) Help teenagers recognize and achieve their potential, with a particular emphasis on encouraging and nurturing their educational ambitions; 3) Contribute to the vitality and vibrancy of the Albany Park neighborhood, an arts-poor community where ATPT is the only performing arts organization. Today, ATPT performs for more that 4,000 people each year, and has uilt a repertoire of more than 50 performance works integrating theater, dance and music.|
|Cathedral Shelter of Chicago
Reverend Glenn B. Chalmers
1668 West Ogden Avenue
Chicago, IL 60612
312-997-2222 ext. 245
|Since 1915, Cathedral Shelter has provided effective and compassionate social services, particularly to people suffering from addiction. Through crisis intervention, addiction recovery, community assistance and life skills development programs, Cathedral Shelter works to prevent homelessness and hunger. The Rex Foundation will specifically help support the Christmas Basket program which works to prevent hunger and homelessness through the distribution of emergency food, housing and utility assistance, clothing vouchers and crisis counseling to low-income seniors, people with HIV and low-income West Side families.|
|Chicago Women’s Health Center (CWHC)
3435 North Sheffeld Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
|Founded in 1975 by a group of women, including several medical professionals, the Chicago Women’s Health Center provides women’s reproductive health care, embracing the following mission: 1) Provide quality health care and counseling services to all women regardless of heir ability to pay; 2) Help women gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be effective advocates for their health care; 3) Share information and promote preventative health practices through community outreach; 4) Work in coalition with other groups to identify women’s public health concerns and bring these concerns to the attention of policy makers. CWHC operates as a modified collective, and is the oldest existing women’s health collective in the United States.|
|Grand Avenue Club, Inc.
Rachel Forman Executive Director
210 East Michigan Avenue
Milwaukee, WIÂ 53202
414-276-6474 ext. 6
|The Grand Avenue Club was founded in 1991 by a community-wide coalition consisting of adults who had themselves experienced mental illness, their families and friends, as well as organizations that were concerned about the isolation of mentally ill adults and their exclusion from every important opportunity that makes life satisfying. The Club provides hundreds of Milwaukee area adults with pre-vocational, employment, educational, housing and recreational opportunities that support their full integration into community life. In 1993 the clubhouse initiated its very successful Employment program, in 1996 its Housing program, and in 2003 the clubhouse secured funding to focus on newly diagnosed younger people (ages 18-25) who might otherwise drop out of school because of mental illness. In 2002 Grand Avenue Club moved to a new, permanent downtown location that is easily accessible to every metropolitan area neighborhood.|
|Family of Glenn Carrier
469 B Milano Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Glenn Carrier, a long-time member of the Grateful Dead crew, and more recently with Dark Star Orchestra, passed away in early February 2004. In honor of Glenn’s memory, the Rex Foundation designated some proceeds from the March 6, 2004 Black Tie-Dye Ball Benefit for Glenn’s family.
|Circle of Care
2540 Charleston Street
Oakland, CA 94602
|Circle of Care provides grief and illness support to children, teens, toddlers and adults. Working with every member of a family impacted by the death or life threatening illness of a family member, services offered include support groups, individual counseling and school based counseling. Support groups including Extended Family Loss, Living with Loss, Living with Illness, Teens Facing Parents’ Illness and Children Living with HIV/Aids are facilitated by highly trained, compassionate volunteers. Families served have no other organization to turn to for support and are not charged for any services.|
|Heart Mountain Prison Project
Doug Booth, Co-Director
1223 St. Francis Dr.
Santa Fe, NM 87505
|The Heart Mountain Prison Project conducts classes and workshops for youth and adults incarcerated in county jails, detention facilities and the state penitentiary in New Mexico, where the prison population is growing at ten times the national speed. The program’s anger and stress management skills are aimed at reducing the high rate of recidivism in New Mexico jails, while youth programs provide early intervention coupled with confidence-building skills to the mostly Native American juvenile population. Prisoners are taught to understand feelings of anger and frustration, while learning new and positive skills for dealing with those feelings. The project publishes a bilingual meditation manual distributed for free to prisoners nationwide.|
|New Music Works
Sound Horizons Program
PO Box 2266
Santa Cruz, CA 95063-2266
|New Music Works (NMW) is dedicated to presenting contemporary composers and introducing audiences to new compositions, many in non-traditional settings. The goal is to develop a positive relationship between present day audiences and music of our time through imaginative and diverse concert series programming. Each year NMW conducts the Sound Horizons program, a musical composition competition/public reading for students enrolled at area colleges and universities. The program provides an opportunity for students to submit their own compositions and have them played by accomplished musicians and to get feedback from performers and composers and exposure of their works.|
|Youth Arts Project
Peggy Rose, General Manager
855 Treat Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94110
|Sponsored by the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the Youth Arts Project is a two-phased program aimed at promoting inter-group understanding and the positive creativity of youth. The Youth Theater Project trains youth in play creation techniques and facilitates the creation and performance of original plays on issues of burning importance to youth. Phase one culminates in performance at a fully technically supported Youth Theater Festival. The groups are chosen from different ethnic backgrounds, linguistic backgrounds and sexual orientations and are taught by a diverse team of teachers. In phase two a San Francisco Mime Troupe playwright combines situations and characters from four plays into one 30 minute play which is directed by SFMT, acted by college theater students and Mime Troupe actors and toured to schools throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area. The Youth Arts Project enables teens to confront and create new social perspectives surrounding drugs, violence, homophobia and teen pregnancy which adversely affects their lives.|
|Birthplace of Country Music Alliance
Bill Hartley Executive Director
PO Box 216
Bristol, TN 37621
|The mission of BCMA is to bring national and international recognition to the people of the southern Appalachian region, the musical and cultural heritage of the region, its role in the development of mountain and country music and its influence on music around the world. The alliance promotes both the preservation of this music and encourages its continued survival.
35575 Zephyr Way
Pleasant Hill, OR 97455-9765
Spotlight is a community theatre that reaches out to school students and homeschoolers throughout Lane County in Oregon, offering a wide range of weekly dance, acting, voice and literature classes. Each year three to four plays are produced and presented to the community. In addition, Spotlight offers summer camps and workshops. The grant to the Spotlight Theatre not only supports its important work, it also honors the memory of Ken Kesey, who lived in Pleasant Hill, Oregon and had grandchildren who attended the Spotlight Theatre classes.
Lou Harrison Archive
|The mission of the Lou Harrison archive is to acquire, preserve and make available for research, the most complete collection of Lou Harrison’s archive materials. Many materials are endangered by potential dispersion at auction and by rapid deterioration. Whether recorded sound on discs or tapes, manuscript scores, drafts, sketches, notebooks, poetry, artworks or other memorabilia, the Library is willing and able to give immediate attention to their preservation and dissemination.|
|Marin Aids Project
910 Irwin St
San Rafael, CA 94901
|The Marin AIDS Project (MAP) is dedicated to helping people with AIDS manage their lives, and to stopping the spread of the disease through prevention education programs. MAP provides information, counseling, emergency financial and legal assistance, and youth outreach programs for young people and for clients coping with HIV/AIDS. MAP helps clients assess their short and long-term needs and develop a care plan. Its Prevention and Education programs provide accurate and comprehensive information about prevention and transmission of HIV. Its YouthReach programs uses trained peer counselors to lead interactive presentations on HIV and related health issues in schools and community youth programs. This past year, 5,600 teenagers attended peer education sessions or had some other contact with MAP’s YouthReach educational activities.|
|The Reading Tree
368 Connecticut St.
San Francisco, CA
|The Reading Tree is a children’s literacy program dedicated to promoting family literacy and healthy reading habits by increasing community awareness about the importance of reading and sharing books with children through three programs: Books for Babies, Prescription for Reading and Growing with Books.
The Prescription for Reading and Growing with Books programs serve the Latino families who get their health services through the Mission Neighborhood Health Center and St. Luke’s pediatric clinics in San Francisco’s Mission District. The Reading Tree is committed to helping these children build their own personal libraries and to working with the families to make sharing books a part of their daily routine. Through the Books for Babies program, books and bookmarks printed in English and Spanish are given to newborns, and parents are educated on the importance of reading to their children starting in infancy. Over 21,000 books are given away each year.
|Center for Contemplative
Mind in Society
199 Main St., Suite 3
Northampton, MA 01060
|Center for Contemplative Mind in Society works to integrate contemplative awareness into contemporary life in order to help create a more just, compassionate and reflective society. Contemplative practices is defined as an attempt to quiet the mind in the midst of the rush and distraction of everyday life in order to cultivate a personal capacity for deep concentration and insight. The Center works on both the national and local levels, serving a wide range of populations from professionals, such as lawyers and academics, to social justice activists to young people. The Center often works in partnership with other organizations.|
|Circle of Life
P. O. Box 3764
Oakland, CA 94609
|Julia Butterfly Hill founded Circle of Life in 1999 in order to inspire new activists to join in the sustainability, environmental and social justice movements. Julia has been a role model for millions of people worldwide, teaching by example that a more hopeful, peaceful, joyous and just world is possible. Circle of Life activates people through education, inspiration and connection to honor the diversity and interdependence of all life. They believe and promote that individuals make the difference in the world.
Circle of Life has three programs that bring spirituality and activism together. Through a positive, solution-oriented and heartfelt approach to the problems facing our planet, they make activism irresistible and cool to a wide range of audiences, with a special focus on youth, aged 21 and younger. The programs are:
We the Planet, a groundbreaking tour and festival showing young, mainstream Americans that consciousness is cool;
The Action Support Center connects a wide array of people, businesses, schools and organizations with information about practicing their environmental and social awareness;
Teacher Education, to assist teachers in obtaining high quality, creative and multi-disciplinary materials for their classrooms.