Thursday night, November 12th, GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi hosted the “Down in Mississippi” Virtual Gala, which raised a total of more than $82,000.
Proceeds will directly benefit the Museum’s education programs. The 2020 Virtual Gala was livestreamed from the Museum in Cleveland, Miss., and honored GRAMMY®-winning blues artist Bobby Rush with the second annual Crossroads of American Music Award. This year’s Gala also recognized Amy Killebrew, a teacher at Grenada Elementary School in Grenada, Miss., with the inaugural L.U.C.Y. Award.
“During these times, support for our Museum and education programs is more important than ever,” said Emily Havens, Executive Director of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi. “We want to thank all of our supporters, patrons, sponsors, artists, industry executives, and representatives who came out to support this Gala. We really could not have raised the $82,000 we did without them. We’re looking forward to continuing our important work in the community, and look forward to what this next year brings for GRAMMY Museum Mississippi.”
Sponsors of the “Down in Mississippi” Virtual Gala include Paul Janoush and Family, SuperTalk Mississippi, Visit Mississippi, Ben Powell, Delta Health Center, Quality Steel Corporation, McCarty’s Pottery, Needle Specialty, and Gainspoletti Financial Services.
Special guests who appeared during the livestream to congratulate Rush on his Crossroads of American Music Award honor include Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves; Congressman Bennie Thompson; producer/composer Benjamin Wright; GRAMMY winners William Bell, Keb’ Mo’, Charley Pride, Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples; and Jon Hornyak, Senior Executive Director of the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy. Established by the Museum’s Board of Directors, the Crossroads of American Music Award honors an artist who has made significant musical contributions influenced by the creativity born in the cradle of American music. The inaugural recipient of the Crossroads of American Music Award was three-time GRAMMY Award winner Charley Pride.
Named after devoted Mississippian and community advocate, Lucy Janoush, who was instrumental in securing funding for the development of the Mississippi Museum, the L.U.C.Y. Award, which stands for Lifting Up Children and Youth, celebrates K-12 educators from the state of Mississippi who embody the educational mission of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi.
The annual GRAMMY Museum Mississippi Gala is the Museum’s signature fundraising event. Proceeds from this year’s virtual gala will benefit the Museum’s education program, which seeks to use music as a gateway to learning by inspiring and cultivating creativity, critical thinking, and self-expression.
For those who were unable to attend the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi Virtual Gala but are still interested in making a donation to the Museum’s music education programs, donations are currently being accepted online.