Otis Redding was dedicated to improving the quality of life for our community through the education and empowerment of its youth. Established in 2007 by Mrs. Zelma Redding in her husband’s honor, the Otis Redding Foundation, with its roots in music, has created educational awareness programs in the arts and humanities. These programs encourage individual and team participation, build self-esteem and instill discipline. To honor Otis’ dream, the Otis Redding Foundation provides opportunities for youth to improve their academic performance by helping them make choices in life that enrich rather than endanger. By providing programs that ignite dreams in our future generation of leaders, we remain dedicated to connecting the universal relevance of music to serve as a catalyst for education and other youth oriented initiatives.
The Otis Redding Foundation’s mission is to empower, enrich, and motivate all young people through programs involving music, writing and instrumentation. Each partnership and program sponsored since its inception in 2007 supports the philanthropic commitment of Otis Redding to empower and enlighten all young people to fulfill their dreams.
The Otis Music Camp (previously the Big “O” Singer/Songwriter Camp) takes place every June in Macon, GA. Otis Music Campers experience a high level of music forums conducted by key leaders in the industry. Professional musicians ranging from orchestra conductors and music students from major universities participate as camp counselors. A variety of music industry professionals including vocal coaches and artist development trainers have also participated in workshops. Touring musicians from around the state perform and participate in Q&A sessions. The camp was founded by Karla Redding-Andrews, Executive Director of Otis Redding Foundation and Lisa Love, former director the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2008. “Educating children through music was a dream of my husband’s,” said Zelma Redding. “This camp’s emphasis on creativity and inspiration is something I think he would have been proud of and it is the kind of program we will continue to foster through our Foundation.”
In addition to the camp, the foundation supports young dreamers through scholarships for music enhancement lessons such as voice, guitar, piano, strings and others. Partnerships with the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and Townsend School of Music at Mercer University, Berklee College of Music, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia also create catalysts for offering continuing education programs.