The Issue: Education for Underserved Youths
Music stirs the soul and inspire greatness—and the music produced at Stax Records inspired a generation. Now that generation is passing the torch to the next, supporting the schools and museum at Soulsville, USA, to help spread the Memphis legacy and encourage young minds from underserved backgrounds. By seeing the artifacts and participating in rigorous educational and musical programming, students can help better themselves and secure successful futures.
The Campaign: Educating Students About Music and More
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by the Soulsville Foundation to cover programming costs at the Stax Music Academy and Soulsville Charter School, as well as enhance the exhibits within the Stax Museum of American Soul. Every $10 raised helps the Soulsville Foundation fund musical education and after-school programming for families who cannot afford tuition, instruments, and travel, and provides scholarships for those who cannot afford admission to the Stax Museum. The programs at the Stax Music Academy and Soulsville Charter School benefit more than 720 students in grades 6–12, teaching them how to make music based on the legacy of Stax Records while preparing them for college.
To learn more about the history of soul music and support the Soulsville Foundation, check out our deal for admission to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music here.
In the 1960s and '70s, Soulsville, USA, was pulsing with energy. A center for American soul, fueled by the musicians and music lovers of Stax Records, it filled the airwaves with positivity and that bluesy Memphis sound. Although the town and its spirit eventually fell into disrepair, a group of music lovers made sure it survived by digging in and starting The Soulsville Foundation.
Today the Soulsville Foundation funds three organizations: The Soulsville Charter School, The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, and The Stax Music Academy. At the charter school, students in grades 6–12 build an academic foundation and prepare for college in a tuition-free, music-rich environment. The nearby Stax Museum—built on the site of the recording studio where Isaac Hayes and Otis Redding once sang—showcases films, videos, interactive exhibits, and more than 2,500 artifacts that convey the history of American soul music: everything from Mavis Staples's stage dress to Albert King's Flying V purple guitar. The Stax Music Academy, meanwhile, takes that legacy to the next level by teaching young scholars how to create their own music in the tradition of Stax Records, providing after-school mentoring and use of a state-of-the-art facility.