Reverb Gives provides teachers, instructors, and leaders of music programs with the instruments that they need, directly from the Reverb marketplace. Since its launch, Reverb Gives has had the opportunity to help support a variety of remarkable organizations committed to making the world a more musical place.

What kinds of programs does the Foundation support? Can you talk about initiatives like the Otis Music Camp, Camp Dream, and Center for Creative Arts?

The Otis Redding Foundation creates an array of music education programming for young artists of all ages, offering a unique, world-class product. Many young people in the area do not get the chance to experience music and arts education. Thanks to the amazing support from sponsors, grantors, and individual donations from around the world, program costs are kept low and affordable and scholarships are offered.

The Otis Music Camp—now in its 12th year and held at the Townsend School of Music on the campus of Mercer University—has grown from a five day camp with a dozen students to a two-week intensive program with over 70 campers, ages 12 to 17, and over 30 coaches. Camp DREAM, a complete music and arts program, had its inaugural session at the Tubman Museum in October 2018, serving children ages 5-11. The Center for Creative Arts opened in 2016 and offers private and group lessons to all age ranges, from school-aged children to adults, for guitar, piano, vocals, engineering, songwriting workshops, and more.

What communities has the Otis Redding Foundation been a part of? How do kids get involved with the organization? Do they generally have musical backgrounds or experience, or is it mostly new to them?

Students come from diverse backgrounds across Central Georgia, with some traveling from states like Arkansas, Florida, and Tennessee to take part in the Otis Music Camp. Many of the students participate in the programs until they reach age limitations, at which point they often continue to be involved as volunteers and Camp Coaches.

Our partnerships with local youth and arts organizations, plus word of mouth and storytelling via our marketing, means we have a constant new stream of young people who are getting involved with the Foundation. Their backgrounds vary, which is one of the aspects that we are very proud of. No musical talent or ability is required for any of the programming!

How about the music instructors and the teams that work with the Otis Redding Foundation? What are their musical backgrounds, how did they get involved with the cause?

The team that works full-time at the Otis Redding Foundation offices is small but mighty, with strong connections to Otis Redding himself. The vice president and executive director Karla Redding-Andrews is the daughter of Otis Redding, and Justin Andrews—Director of Special Projects & Outreach—is Redding’s grandson. Mrs. Zelma Redding, Otis’ widow and the founder and president of the Foundation, keeps a watchful eye over all things Otis Redding- and Foundation-related!

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