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BMI Foundation Awards Third Annual Woody Guthrie Fellowships

Posted in News on April 21, 2008

The winners of the third annual Woody Guthrie Fellowship have been announced by Ralph N. Jackson, President of the BMI Foundation, Inc., and Nora Guthrie, Executive Director of the Woody Guthrie Archives (WGA) and Foundation. The program funds research fellowships for scholars to use the rich and extensive holdings available at the WGA in New York City.

The 2008 recipients are as follows:

Dr. Will Kaufman is a Reader in English and American Studies at the University of Central Lancashire (UK), and has published widely on many aspects of American culture. His project, Woody Guthrie and the Cultural Front, grows out of a performance-based program that Kaufman has presented for the past year and a half. Kaufman’s research at the Archives will explore Guthrie’s cultural position by examining his relationship to narratives associated with the American cultural front, ultimately culminating in a book that will reaffirm Guthrie’s radicalism.

Damian Carpenter is a PhD candidate in the English department at Texas A&M University, where he is working towards a dissertation on mid-century folk music and it’s cultural impact. His project, Woody Sez and Dylan Weave: The Continuing Tradition of the Outlaw in American Folk Music, will build upon Carpenter’s previous work on Folk Music, including his 2006 Judas! article “Living in the Land of Nod: Dylan’s Vision of America.”

Sophi Hronopoulos is an educator and activist whose project, Woody Guthrie on Turtle Island, will develop educational materials that link Guthrie’s philosophy with a broadly defined sense of Native American values. Originally from Australia, Hronopoulos has a strong background in education and an active interest in Native American culture that together provide a solid basis for her research, in which she will attempt to discover what Guthrie’s lyrics reveal about Native Americans

Sandra Hale Schulman is a filmmaker and writer who has conducted extensive research on Peter LaFarge, a folksinger who was greatly incluenced by Guthrie. Schulman’s research at the Archives will culminate in book entitled “The Ballad of Peter LaFarge: Native America’s Protest Pioneer.”

Joe Seamons is a young musician and teacher based in Portland, OR whose project, Woody’s Journey Up the Columbia Travelogue, will develop public performance programs, classroom material, and a website that focus on the time Guthrie spent in along the Columbia River in 1941.

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 95% of all donations and income are used for charitable grants.