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A California nonprofit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation, the Open Sky Music Foundation was established for educational purposes. Its goals include educating and informing the public about culturally diverse, historical forms of music as well as providing fiscal sponsorship to a number of projects that exhibit artistic and educational vision. The foundation is involved in presenting blues, jazz and folk music via special events and instructional workshops.

Bringing Music Into Public Schools

The Open Sky Music Foundation combines music and American history for its Blues In The School workshops, which feature both lecture and performance. Music is an international language that all cultures understand, an underlying theme of the foundation’s workshops. The presentations offered to public schools focus on a variety of music subjects including self-expression, world harmony, songwriting 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 schools through high school.

Fiscal Sponsorship

Over the years, the foundation has provided fiscal sponsorship to third parties whose endeavors reflect academic goals. Lending its legal nonprofit status assists other organizations in their ability to raise funds.  Following charitable guidelines, the Open Sky Music Foundation offers creative direction and financial management for projects with a scholastic objective.  Most recently The Steve Schour Memorial Fund has utilized these services in awarding arts, athletic and educational grants to under-served high school students in the Big Bear Lake area.

Heritage Music in the Mountains

The Open Sky Music Foundation produces concerts in unique settings, from lakeside festivals to intimate house concerts. The organization curated the musical program for the annual Blues For the Zoo fundraiser with proceeds going to the Big Bear Alpine Zoo, a licensed rehabilitation facility for injured animals. The foundation also established the Open Sky Music Festival on the shores of Big Bear Lake in 1997.  Big Bear Lake is the jewel of this rustic mountain town and the Open Sky Music Festival was established to bring cultural tourism to this high-altitude resort community.

The foundation also supports the visual arts. An example was commissioning high school student Lindsay Hafen to design the original artwork for the first Blues For the Zoo poster.

Promoting American Music

The Open Sky Music Foundation, Inc. was founded by Nancy Meyer and Rick Bates.   Their lengthy careers in the music industry include working as artist rights advocates for many important American songwriters and performers.  The foundation continues to support and honor the music that inspired the establishment of this nonprofit corporation.