MEMPHIS – The Soulsville Foundation’s Stax Music Academy announced that it has received a $50,000 grant from Kohl’s, the Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based retailer with more than 1,100 stores, including 19 stores in Tennessee. The grant was announced to the Stax Music Academy during Kohl’s leadership meeting in Nashville on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, where nearly 3,000 Kohl’s associates were treated to musical entertainment by a group of Stax Music Academy graduates.
According to Soulsville Foundation Chief Development Officer Christy Valentine, “This started as just very simple phone call from Kohl’s inquiring about having the Stax Music Academy do a very short, upbeat performance to kick off their leadership meeting. They had learned enough about us to know we would be a good fit their purpose-driven organization. Now, it is a major partnership with a true community-minded corporation and we couldn’t be more ecstatic.”
“The work Stax Music Academy is doing to support and develop youth in the Memphis community through music is both inspiring and admirable,” said Jen Johnson, Kohl’s senior vice president, communications. “We were honored to have Stax alumni share their talents with us, and our associate base was deeply touched by their performance and story. Kohl’s is proud to be in a position to support the continued work of Stax Music Academy and their mission to inspire and empower young people.”
Tuition to attend the Stax Music Academy is approximately $1,000 a year for its After School Program which runs August – May, although the majority of the students receive an $800 discount provided by the Soulsville Foundation.
“This gift from Kohl’s,” Valentine added, “will go a very long way to help a lot of young people thrive into successful adults.”
About Stax Music Academy
Founded in 2000 in Memphis, Tennessee, the Stax Music Academy is program of the Soulsville Foundation, which also operates the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and The Soulsville Charter School, all located on a campus at the original site of Stax Records. Since its inception, it has served thousands of young people with particular focus on primarily at-risk Memphis youth, with the mission to inspire young people and enhance their academic, cognitive, performance, and leadership skills by utilizing music with an intense focus on the rich legacy and tradition of Stax Records. In addition to unique performance opportunities such as performing at the Kohl’s national meeting, students have performed at prestigious events and venues including the opening ceremonies on the Nation Mall for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016, and during an internationally acclaimed tour of France and the United Kingdom in 2017.