Mission: The mission of the Great American Songbook Foundation is to inspire & educate by celebrating the Great American Songbook.
Results: Since its founding in 2007, the Great American Songbook Foundation has amassed a significant amount of materials, music and papers from composers, lyricists, performers, and other important figures in the history of the Great American Songbook. These materials are housed at the Foundation's headquarters in Carmel, Indiana. Efforts to preserve these historical items are actively underway, led by the Foundation's archivist and a team of volunteer collections assistants. A current high priority project is the digitization of lacquer disc recordings from the early twentieth century.
The Songbook Foundation's educational programming has increased drastically since its inception. The organization's primary program, the Songbook Academy™, began as a one-day workshop for students in Indiana and surrounding states. It is now a fully national program which attracts over 100 applicants from throughout the country. A limited number of students are invited to the Foundation's headquarters for eight days to work with Michael Feinstein and other industry-leading professionals. The week culminates in a main stage performance where one young singer is chosen as the Songbook Youth Ambassador who will have the opportunity to perform with Michael in venues throughout the country. Additionally, the organization collaborates with public and private schools and other organizations in central Indiana for tours, lyric-writing workshops, and historical presentations.
In recent years, the Great American Songbook Foundation has entered into a permanent affiliation with the Center for the Performing Arts to share resources and ensure the viability of both organizations. The Songbook Foundation also presents an annual film series in collaboration with Indianapolis-based non-profit Heartland Film.
Target demographics: young people and adults of all backgrounds with an interest in the music of the Great American Songbook
Direct beneficiaries per year: students in thirty-seven states, educators and music historians throughout the nation, 3000 visitors to our onsite outreach and educational programs, 2500 visitors to our Exhibit Gallery, senior citizens from five retirement communities in the greater Indianapolis area
Geographic areas served: throughout the nation
Programs: educational programs for young people and adults, preservation of historical artifacts, rotating interactive exhibits in our gallery, partnerships with other non-profits such as the annual Songbook Film Series, music programs for seniors who deal with neurodegenerative diseases
As a singer and volunteer in the arts, I have been a fan of the Great American Songbook my entire life. I found out about the Great American Songbook Foundation through following the career of one of my favorite performers - the organization's founder, Grammy-nominated singer Michael Feinstein. He and the Foundation's leadership team have set a truly noble goal of educating young singers (during a recent concert he compared this work to planting seeds) to become superior American Songbook interpreters. The Foundation has also done more than any other organization to share this beautiful music with the public at large, via the Foundation's ever-growing archives, museum, and concerts.