National Museum Of African American Music Announces Alliance With Rhythm & Blues Foundation Benefiting Legacy Artists

National Museum of African American Music

Rhythm & Blues Foundation

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES, May 24, 2024 / — The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) is working together with The Rhythm & Blues Foundation to continue the Foundation’s great work of providing financial assistance to R&B artist whose lifelong contributions have been instrumental in the development of Rhythm & Blues music.

Founded in 1988, The Rhythm & Blues Foundation is dedicated to the historical and cultural preservation of Rhythm & Blues music. The Foundation provides grants to artists in need of financial assistance for necessities including rent, utilities, and medical bills. The Foundation has launched several award-winning programs to educate the public and to provide opportunities for legacy artists. Today, this joint effort between the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and the National Museum of African American Music will continue to provide these programs and administer artists grants through The Doc Pomus Emergency Assistance Fund, The Motown/Universal Music Group Fund, and the Gwendolyn B. Gordy Fuqua Fund.

In 2024, NMAAM and the R&B Foundation are working to distribute 1 million dollars in artist grants to artists in need. For more on how to apply for assistance, visit

Miki Howard, former grant recipient says, “I am super appreciative of the kindness and support I received. During the pandemic shut down, I lost all employment. As a performance artist, most of my income comes from live performances. At the 6-month mark, I depleted all my savings and was thrust into a very bad situation. My dear friend, Allison Williams called and told me about the R&B Foundation and how they would help me and what a helping hand they were. I’m very grateful.”

Dion Brown, Executive Director, National Museum of African American Music stated, “We are excited to work with the R&B Foundation and to join their mission to provide aid to these iconic artists who have spent their lives contributing incredible music to the American soundtrack. We will work in tandem with the R&B Foundation to provide financial assistance as well as opportunities for these legacy artists to continue to earn a living doing what they love.”

Damon Williams, Chairman of the Board, Rhythm & Blues Foundation stated, “Our legacy Rhythm & Blues artists are facing ever-growing financial and medical challenges. This alliance with NMAMM will help to broaden the Foundation’s programs and services at a critical time for many artists. We are thankful for our donors the Motown/Universal Music Group Fund, The Gwendolyn B. Gordy Fuqua Fund, established by Berry Gordy and the Warner Music Group & Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund, a sponsored project of Moore Impact for providing the resources to fund our artist grant programs.”


The Rhythm & Blues Foundation is the only non-profit organization solely dedicated to preserving Rhythm & Blues music by celebrating and providing financial assistance to the artists who create it. The Foundation provides assistance to R&B artists of the 1940’s through 1990’s. Founders of the organization included Ruth Brown, Ahmet Ertegun, Ray Charles, Dan Akroyd, and many other luminaries who appreciate the value of R&B to America. The Foundation brings generations together by offering Rhythm & Blues-themed educational and community outreach programs to the public. The Rhythm & Blues Foundation Board of Directors: Jeff Harleston – Universal Music Group, Bruce Resnikoff – Universal Music Group, Iris Gordy – Gwendolyn B. Gordy Fuqua Fund, Claudette Robinson – Gwendolyn B. Gordy Fuqua Fund, Octavius (Ted) Reid – Morgan Stanley, Steve Pamon – President of VERZUZ, Damon Williams – SVP, Music Choice, Louise West, Esq, and Judy Tint, Esq.


NMAAM is the only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the many music genres created, influenced, and inspired by African Americans. The museum’s expertly curated collections share the story of the American soundtrack by integrating history and interactive technology to bring the musical heroes of the past into the present. The National Museum of African American Music is the premier global destination for music lovers of all generations and inspires, educates, and transforms your appreciation of American music. NMAAM’s mission is to educate the world, preserve the legacy, and celebrate the central role African Americans play in creating the American soundtrack. NMAAM was born out of a proposal from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce in 2002, to celebrate and preserve African Americans’ influence on music and provide residents and visitors with diverse cultural offerings. The National Museum of African American Music broke ground in early 2017 and officially opened in 2021. Since its opening, NMAAM has welcomed guests from across the U.S. and is one of Music City’s top must-see tourist destinations.

Angelo Ellerbee
Double XXposure Media Relations
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