NAMM Presents Music for Life Award to Music and Arts Advocate Bill Ivey

July 18, 2009

 NAMM recently presented its “Music for Life” award to Bill Ivey, founding director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, for his tireless efforts to support music and the arts for people everywhere. The accolade was given to Ivey at today’s breakfast session held during the 2009 Summer NAMM show.

Presented to celebrities, government officials and company leaders, the award is the highest honor that NAMM can bestow on an individual organization, and recognizes extraordinary contributions to NAMM’s mission of creating more active music makers. Previous "Music for Life" award recipients include Bob McGrath of "Sesame Street" and Yoko Ono.

The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy is an arts policy research center with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C. Ivey also directs the Center’s Washington-based program for senior government career staff, the Arts Industries Policy Forum, and serves as senior consultant to Leadership Music, a professional development program serving Nashville’s music community.

Ivey served as team leader for arts and humanities in the Obama-Biden presidential transition. His book, Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights, was published by the University of California Press in the summer of 2008.

From May 1998 through September 2001, Ivey served as the seventh chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Following years of controversy and significant reductions in NEA funding, Ivey’s leadership is credited with restoring Congressional confidence in the work of the NEA. Ivey’s Challenge America Initiative, launched in 1999, has to date garnered more than $15 million in new Congressional appropriations for the Arts Endowment.

Prior to government service, Ivey was director of the Country Music Foundation in Nashville, Tenn. He was twice elected board chairman of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), and is immediate past president of the American Folklore Society. Ivey holds degrees in history, folklore, and ethnomusicology, as well as honorary doctorates from the University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University, Wayne State University and Indiana University. He is a four-time GRAMMY award nominee (Best Album Notes category), and is the author of numerous articles on U.S. cultural policy, and on folk and popular music.

“Mr. Ivey is a great champion of music and the arts—it is amazing to think about how many lives he has touched by his personal efforts to preserve and support these cultural endeavors,” said NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond.