Ralph N. Jackson, President of the BMI Foundation, Inc., and Nora Guthrie, Executive Director of the Woody Guthrie Archives (WGA) and Foundation, have announced the winners of the fist annual Woody Guthrie Fellowship. The program funds research fellowships for scholars to use the rich and extensive holdings available at the WGA in New York City.
The recipients are Mark Pedelty, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, whose project "Woody and the River: Examining the Relationship between Land and Labor in Woody Guthrie's Life and Art" provides a model of active research and pedagogy; Seth Archer, author of Reading the Riot Acts, an investigation by the young literature lecturer at Boston College into cultural and economic race relations in Oklahoma during Guthrie's early years, which examines the impact of the folk artist's racial and creative perspective; Literature Professor Ed Shannon of Ramapo College in New Jersey traces the origins and development of Guthrie's folk anthem in his project, "This Land is Your Land: The History of a Song"; and Moose Farrell, an artist who explores the magic and mythology of land, will create a series of paintings and "artist books" inspired by Guthrie's words for an exhibition entitled "In God's Country."
Established in 1972, the Woody Guthrie Foundation is a non-profit organization that serves as administrator and caretaker of the Woody Guthrie Archives. Dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of information about Woody Guthrie's vast cultural legacy, the WGA houses the largest collection of Woody Guthrie material in the world. Since it's opening in 1996, the Woody Guthrie Archives has been a major success and has become an important resource for the general public, musicians, singers, songwriters, scholars, and public and private cultural institutions wishing to access the research collection.
The BMI Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1985 to support the creation, performance and study of music through awards, scholarships, commissions and grants. Tax-deductible donations to the Foundation come primarily from songwriters, composers and publishers, BMI employees and members of the public with a special interest in music. Because both the Foundation staff and the distinguished members of the Advisory Panel serve without compensation, more than 97% of all donations and income are used for charitable grants.