Who is the Atlanta Blues Society?
The Atlanta Blues Society is an all volunteer member organization dedicated to the Education and preservation of the uniquely American art form known traditionally as the blues. We are comprised of a rich mixture of culturally diverse people brought together through our common appreciation of the heritage and history of the Blues. The ABS was incorporated as a Georgia Corporation and was granted 501 (c) 3 status by the Internal Revenue Service on November 29, 2001. Since our inception in 1995 we have known that education bridges the gap between generations and links the future to the past; that the one be not forgotten and the other not neglected. From its roots in the field "hollars" of slavery, to gospel, through the roaring 20s, the jazz age, country, to the birth of rock and roll, the Blues has touched American music and us all.
What We Do
The Blues societies around the country are part of the glue that holds the blues community together. Groups such as ours are at the front lines in the effort to keep the blues alive and bring it to a growing audience.
We continue our annual "Feed the Hungry" food-bank drive in November, and our annual "Toys for Tots" drive in December. We contribute to “Clarks Kids” - http://www.clarkhoward.com/topics/christmas_kids/ With your generous help we will be able to maintain these events and expand our education and historic preservation programs as well as institute additional programs targeted to assist Blues musicians in need.
Education is the beginning of Appreciation. We are here to help educate the public about and preserve this uniquely American Art Form known as the Blues.
Blues music is America's music, and young people especially should know about the musical heritage America and of the Blues. Educating them on how America's music has evolved and how the Blues forms the roots of today's popular music is important. The recognition and exposure that Blues music has recently received from advertising and most recently from the award winning movie "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" the more people appreciate the sound, style, and art that defines the Blues.
In 1978, the City of Chicago public schools introduced the "Blues in the Schools" program which is still going strong more than two decades later and has since spread all around the country and even around the world. The ABS is proud to have such a program in place as well. In this program professional blues musicians are invited into schools to conduct classes on the history of the blues, famous blues musicians, different styles of blues, and how to write, sing and perform the blues. With different programs tailored to specific age groups, we have been successful in putting on these session to grateful audiences in many of the greater Atlanta School Systems. Click Here for more about the BITS Program.
History and Preservation Programs
The blues has been called one of the most important art forms of the 20th century. Without the blues there would have been no rock "n" roll, no soul or funk, progressive country or hip-hop, and certainly no jazz (the first born of the Blues.) The blues is a rich musical stew enjoyed by generations worldwide. For many years the record companies made fortunes off of the music from the original Blues artists without proper payment or recognition for their talent. Today, many such musicians are living in extreme poverty and need food, shelter, medical care, and other assistance.
The ABS maintains an on-going collection of the local history of this art form within our Archives Committee. We have been seeking out and preserving information and documentation on the history of the Blues in the Atlanta and Piedmont area and making this information available to interested parties.
Blues Awareness Program
The Atlanta Blues Society has several Blues Awareness Programs in place to benefit both our membership and the general public. Our monthly meetings are open to the public and provide an opportunity for the attendees to discuss many aspects of the music and local events related to the Blues Community. Many of our meetings are hosted by local performing artist who provide entertainment and offer the attendees the opportunity to participate (JAM) with a professional musical group.
Our website and online newsletter provide the Membership and the general public with information about coming events and performances. The ABS Online Newsletter, Blues Notes, provides information and stories about recent events, insightful articles about local Blues happenings, CD reviews and calendar information as well as articles submitted by Members and Blues Musicians from around the world. As part of our Awareness Programs the ABS sponsors the Atlanta Blues Challenge. This event is open to the Public and intended to provide awareness to the general public about the art form known as the Blues. Both of these events are held on a nearly break even financial footing in order to keep ticket prices within the reach of all who wish to attend. Our goal is to evolve these events into free admission events open to the general public through the use of Sponsorships, Donations and Grants from different Foundations.
We Need Your Help!
The Atlanta Blues Society needs your help in our efforts to carry out our mission. Through your generous contributions we will be able to continue funding our Blues in The Schools programs, archiving efforts, our annual musical events, and our awareness programs. We also encourage you to donate, Join or Sponsor the ABS and actively participate with our group. We are always seeking volunteers to perform the work required to sustain the organization and its efforts. Without your help we will not be able to continue to expand the work we do to preserve and promote the native art form of Blues. Thank you for your kind consideration. Click Here for more information on donating to the Atlanta Blues Society. Thank you in advance for your kind consideration.