For over 20 years the Smithsonian-developed Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum has told the story of how “Music Feeds the Soul.” However, the museum located at FedExForum in downtown Memphis reminds that, while the city created the musical sound that taught the world to sing, many Memphians continue to sing the blues. Through the partnership and generous support of the Mike Curb Foundation, the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and the Mike Curb Foundation have launched the on-going “Music Feeds the Soul” campaign to help the hungry and homeless in Memphis. You can help! To make a donation to the "Music Feeds the Soul" campaign, click here.
“Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists come to Memphis to celebrate the city’s music,” said John Doyle, Rock ‘n’ Soul Executive Director. “However in zip codes including and surrounding downtown where Memphis music is celebrated, the plight of our city’s hungry and homeless continues to be a sour note. That’s why we’re honored that the Mike Curb Foundation asked us to partner against this plague.”
Together the Mike Curb Foundation and Rock ‘n’ Soul reached out to those who knew how to help, soliciting the involvement of downtown Memphis’ Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association and Memphis Union Mission. “We wanted to make sure that people were helped,” said record executive Mike Curb, “and that any monies raised and given would go directly to serve those hurting throughout Memphis, not to excessive administration costs. We reached out to these partners because of their many years of proven results directly serving and helping the people of Memphis.”
For the first year of the “Music Feeds the Soul” campaign, the Mike Curb Foundation donated $20,000, with separate donations of $10,000 to both the Memphis Union Mission and MIFA to specifically fund 2020 Thanksgiving meals for the homeless and food baskets for less fortunate families facing the struggles of poverty. The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum has also installed in its lobby at FedExForum a ten-foot guitar into which guests can make donations to help the city they came to celebrate. Rock ‘n’ Soul will also offer exclusive “Music Feeds the Soul” apparel in its museum and online gift shops, with a portion of proceeds going to the campaign. Mid-Southerners can also financially support this campaign through Rock ‘n’ Soul (rocknsoul.org), or through designated “Music Feeds the Soul” donations made directly to MIFA and/or the Memphis Union Mission (mifa.org/waystogive and/or memphisunionmission.org/ways-to-give).
“Memphis music changed the world; together we can change the lives of Memphians,” said Howard Terada, Communications & Donor Relations Director, Memphis Union Mission. “Memphis Union Mission appreciates the great generosity of Mr. Curb and his Foundation, which will feed many, many of our homeless citizens. We’re also excited to team with our downtown neighbors at Rock ‘n’ Soul.”
“Thanksgiving is a tough time for so many families throughout Memphis,” said Anna Kathryn Word, MIFA’s Chief Development Officer, “this year more than ever. We are grateful to Mr. Curb for his generosity and concern about those in our community who are in crisis, and with his help and the partnership with the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and the Memphis Union Mission, we will be able to reach so many of our neighbors in need.”
Since its inception, the Mike Curb Foundation has provided grants totaling more than $100 million in support of education, historic preservation, the hungry and homeless, and a wide range of services in communities associated with Curb enterprises, including Memphis. Supported by contributions and by earnings from Curb Records, one of the nation’s largest independent music companies, the Mike Curb Foundation’s giving has focused on education, cultural policy, museums and historic sites. Today their mission has also been expanded to address the needs of underserved populations including the homeless.
Mike Curb founded Curb Records in 1963, and today Curb Records/ Curb | Word Entertainment is one of the largest independent record labels in the world, featuring stars like Lee Brice, for King & Country, Sammy Davis Jr., Dylan Scott, Solomon Burke, Rodney Atkins, The Sylvers, Tim McGraw, Lou Rawls, LeAnn Rimes, The Ovations, Wynonna, Kimberley Locke, Fisk Jubilee Singers and others, and controlling a vast catalog of legendary recordings by hundreds of performers in the country, gospel, and pop music genres. In addition to performer, songwriter, and recording executive, Curb also served as Lieutenant Governor of California, and has been involved in motorsports including NASCAR and Indianapolis 500 wins. In Memphis, the Mike Curb Foundation has established the Mike Curb Institute for Music at Rhodes College, including partnering with Rhodes College regarding Elvis’ first Memphis home on Audubon Drive. The Mike Curb Foundation has also regularly supported the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, as well as the establishment of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame Museum.
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