Natalie Merchant will receive the Champion Award at Dec. 11’s ASCAP Foundation Honors in New York.
The award celebrates ASCAP members, whose contributions extend beyond music to significant charitable and humanitarian efforts. Among the causes Merchant, best known for her solo career as well as vocalist and lyricist for 10,000 Maniacs, has supported include Scenic Hudson, Riverkeeper, Doctors Without Borders, Tibet House, and Planned Parenthood. Merchant, who served a five-year term on the New York State Council of the Arts, is an artist in resident with the Hudson Valley (N.Y.) charity Commission on Economic Opportunity, where she is developing an arts curriculum for its Head Start program. Past honorees include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett and Ne-Yo.
Núñez, composer, conductor, artistic director and founder of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City will be honored with the Life in Music Award, which recognizes an ASCAP writer member’s outstanding accomplishments as a composer, songwriter, performer, arranger or vocalist. Past winners include Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, Maria Schneider and Horace Silver.
“Natalie Merchant has lent her name and voice to the causes of environmental protection, domestic violence, racism, arts education and more, and Francisco Núñez has enriched the lives of thousands of children of every cultural and economic background with innovative music education,” said the ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams. “Their passion and commitment to philanthropy are sterling examples of how the creative community can step forward to improve the human condition. They ‘walk the walk’ and are inspirations for all of us.”
Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs for songwriters, composers and lyricists.