The Blues Foundation is Memphis-based, but world-renowned as THE organization whose mission is to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. Founded in 1980, The Blues Foundation has approximately 4000 individual members and 200 affiliated local blues societies representing another 50,000 fans and professionals around the world. Its signature honors and events – the Blues Music Awards, Blues Hall of Fame, International Blues Challenge and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards – make it the international center of blues music. Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance. Blues in the Schools programs and Generation Blues scholarships expose new generations to blues music. Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the worldwide Blues community with answers, contact information and news.
A twenty-five person Board of Directors governs the Foundation. Funding for The Blues Foundation comes from membership dues, private donations, corporate sponsorships, grants from private foundations, government agencies and arts organizations and merchandise, advertising and event ticket sales. Contributions to The Blues Foundation, including membership dues, are tax deductible (in the USA) to the fullest extent allowable by law.
The Blues Foundation strives to fulfil its mission via seven programs.