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Open Sky Music Foundation Inc

The Open Sky Music Foundation combines music and American history for its Blues In The School workshops, which feature both lecture and performance. Blues has been documented as a means of communication dating back to the pre-civil war era. Inherently American, this genre of music grew out of the confines of slavery to become the root of all American music; jazz, gospel, R&B, rock and hip hop. It is a music that speaks about everyday life and documents several important eras of American history. Music is an international language that all cultures understand, an underlying theme of the workshops

The presentations offered to public schools in the Big Bear Lake, California district, focus on a variety of music subjects including self-expression, world harmony and the evolution of musical instruments. The workshops are offered at no charge to the schools and have involved all levels and ages of students from elementary through high school. These programs bring working musicians into the classroom, sparking lively interaction among the attendees.

Some of the workshops go beyond blues. Past curriculum included a Grammy winning jazz artist as well as a university educator from the USC Thornton School of Music, who each conducted an intensive clinic with the high school jazz ensemble. Verve Records collaborated on a project, donating a CD Jazz Library to the Big Bear Lake High School music studies department. An acoustic songwriting seminar was also offered for teens.

Keeping a focus on American indigenous music through education is a primary goal of The Open Sky Music Foundation.

Workshop Sponsors:

Arts Council Of Big Bear Valley
Verve Records
Open Air Big Bear

Carruthers
Byl and Roach Carruthers at Chautauqua High School


Blues In The Zoos 2010The foundation has also supported the visual arts within its local community of students. A local high school student was commissioned to design the original artwork for the Blues For the Zoo posters (see “Heritage Music In The Mountains”). Teenager Lindsay Hafen created original pastel paintings, for Blues For the Zoo in 2010, 2011 and 2012. She was a 2010 winner in the Robert Bateman “Get To Know (Your Forest)” national art contest, competing with 4900 entries. Her submission was a pastel of a Moonridge Animal Park badger, drawn from a photo she had entered in the park’s annual photo contest.

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