Founded in 1995 by Blues musicians Debbie Bond and Michael McCracken, Alabama Blues Project has been bringing innovative Blues music programs to children and adults around the state for over 20 years. Its mission is to promote and preserve the Blues as a traditional and contemporary art form, with particular focus on the contribution from Alabama’s great Blues musicians.
Using the legacy of bluesman Johnny Shines as inspiration, the Alabama Blues Project began its educational programming soon after its inception, and now reaches several hundred children ages 6 through 18 annually through its after-school camps, clubs, and advanced ensembles, all of which are led by professional Blues musicians. Many of the students reached are from under-served communities and would not otherwise have access to any sort of arts education. No student is turned away because of an inability to pay. ABP’s advanced ensembles give at least eight public performances throughout the community each year.
Alabama Blues Project has collaborated with many organizations around the community to help present its programs, including Tuscaloosa One Place, Tuscaloosa City and County Schools, Hale County Schools, Wilcox County Schools, the University of Alabama, and the Police Athletic League (PAL).
Alabama Blues Project is proud to have been the recipient of several awards for its arts programming, including the Druid City Arts Award, the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive” award, and the national “Coming Up Taller” award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.