Music Forward Foundation Raises $350K With 30th Anniversary Charity Events 

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(L-R) Music Forward Foundation Executive Director Nurit Smith with alumni Leslie Montoya, Despues Green, Latisha Stephens, and MFF Partnerships Manager Oswaldo Navarro at Sunday’s Inaugural Brunch. (Photo by Richie Porter for Music Forward Foundation)

The Music Forward Foundation celebrated its 30th anniversary with two special fundraising events in Los Angeles over the weekend, the inaugural Music Forward Brunch at the Hollywood Bowl Oct. 1 and the inaugural Golf Classic at the El Caballero Country Club Oct. 2. The events raised a total of $350,000, which will help the nonprofit continue its mission of helping launch “music and live entertainment careers for the next generation through workshops, panels and performances that connect passion to professions.”  

The foundation, which is the national nonprofit arm of Live Nation, focuses on young people aged 13-24 from under-represented communities with an emphasis on providing opportunities for the music community to become more innovative and inclusive.

“This year already we’ve reached 22,000 young people across 46 states and 49 countries. Our impact is real and broad and deep,” Music Forward Foundation Executive Director Nurit Smith said in a statement. “We do this through workshops, career fairs, scholarships, classroom curriculum, internships, performance opportunities, grants, and apprenticeships. Youth walk out of our programs with the tools, resources, and the network to turn their passion for music into a lifelong profession. Music Forward Foundation is thrilled to celebrate 30 years, and we look forward to 30 more, and far beyond!”

The Music Forward Brunch honored music industry change makers including Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever, The World Tour” for its sustainability efforts, an award accepted by the superstar’s mother, Maggie Baird. Julian Petty, EVP, Head of Business and Legal Affairs, Warner, was celebrated as the Executive Honorees in recognition of his efforts to established the Warner Music/Blavatnik Center for Music and Entertainment Business at Howard University, which will help pave the way for the next generation of Black executives in music. Broccoli City co-founder Brandon McEachern picked up the award for Festival Honoree and Allison Frenzel, Education Programs Specialist, California Dept. of Education was the Educator Honoree, for her work helping young people across California pursue careers in arts, media and entertainment. Plus, House of Blues was the Venue Honoree and Music Forward Foundation Executive Director Nurit Smith was surprised with a special certificate proclamation from the County of Los Angeles to mark the Music Forward Foundation’s 30th anniversary.

The event included a performance by Music Forward Foundation alum singer-songwriter Hannah Abrahim, as well as Kori Withers showing off her father’s hits “Just The Two of Us,” “Lean On Me,” “Lovely Day,” “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Plus, KCRW radio host Raul Campos deejayed throughout.  

The next day, Music Forward Foundation alum and sisters Neska Rose (vocals/guitar) and Libi Rose (piano) performed original songs while participants entered the El Caballero Country Club for the Music Forward Golf Classic. Alum and singer/songwriter Reina Macias closed out the evening with a set. 

Golf Winners included Citizens Bank, Wasserman Foundation, and the Country Club Adjacent Podcast.

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