Cultural Access

Through performance, documenting artists, and educating youth, the Cultural Access Program ensures that American musical heritage can be appreciated and further understood by hundreds of thousands of people each year.


Live Performance

Music Maker presents concerts and festivals in North Carolina, across the US and abroad featuring recipient artists often alongside nationally recognized touring acts. Through live performance, Music Maker artists share their gifts and educate the public about the importance of traditional American music.

Music Maker books artists at scores of venues each year, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise, Lincoln Center, Apollo Theater, and more. Click here for a full event schedule.

In 2012 Music Maker will present the Roots and Leaves Series in Chapel Hill, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. This program presents artists from a variety of traditional music genres, including blues, gospel and Native American, free to the public on four separate Friday nights. It educates audiences about the importance of their musical heritage while entertaining them and presenting under served artists.



Music Maker strives to provide educational programming along with performance. Future generations must be informed about the cultural importance traditional music bears, so they can carry it forward. Music Maker presents artist performances at schools, provides internship and volunteer programs for youth.


Since 2006, Music Maker has partnered with the Raleigh Charter High School’s Sustaining Roots Music (SOOTS) program, presenting workshops and concerts educating high school students about the work of the Foundation and the artists we serve. In 2011 Music Maker launched the first Music Maker Jubilee, an educational performance celebrating string-band music local to the Piedmont, North Carolina area. In 2012 the program will be expanded to include performance workshops at local elementary schools and after-school programs.

 Read more about our Youth Engagement here

Multi-Media Archive

In order to preserve audio and video recordings as well as photographs so that future generations will have access to these vital collections, Music Maker maintains a permanent archive at the Southern Folklife Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill. The archive includes audio and video recordings, biographies, interviews and photographs of every Music Maker artist.


We are currently in the beginning stages of developing an accessible online archive. This would allow our recordings and documents to be available to all, for free. Please click here to learn more about our current plans for the online archive.


Through these collections, Music Maker ensures that as artists grow old and pass, their music and impact on society will not go unheard.


Online Community

Strong and regular online communication is vital in order to raise awareness of our mission to new audiences throughout the world.


Our website, e-newsletters and online community building efforts reach more than 10,000 people worldwide each month. Enhancing the visibility of partner artists to fans and talent-buyers is incredibly important to sustaining their careers, and Music Maker is continually working to build artists’ pages, mount videos on our YouTube channel and increase access to MP3s on our website. Community building through Facebook , Twitter and other social media is also essential to building awareness of partner artists’ music and appearances.