Otis Redding was dedicated to improving the quality of life for our community through the education and empowerment of its youth. Established in 2007 by Mrs. Zelma Redding in her husband’s honor, the Otis Redding Foundation, with its roots in music, has created educational awareness programs in the arts and humanities. These programs encourage individual and team participation, build self-esteem and instill discipline. To honor Otis’ dream, the Otis Redding Foundation provides opportunities for youth to improve their academic performance by helping them make choices in life that enrich rather than endanger. By providing programs that ignite dreams in our future generation of leaders, we remain dedicated to connecting the universal relevance of music to serve as a catalyst for education and other youth oriented initiatives. Mission Statement: The Otis Redding Foundation’s mission is to empower, enrich and motivate youth through education in music. Each partnership and program sponsored since its inception in 2007 supports the philanthropic commitment of Otis Redding to empower and enlighten all young people to fulfill their dreams.
The Otis Music Camp takes place every June in Macon, GA. Otis Music Campers experience a high level of music forums conducted by key leaders in the industry. Professional and collegiate musicians of all genres of music, come from across the United States to Macon, GA. each summer to help develop the voices and instrumental abilities of our campers. Throughout the week a variety of music industry professionals ranging from touring musicians to music managers come to camp to interact with our campers, perform a presentation and Q&A session. The campers work vigorously for two-weeks with the guidance of our counselors to write, record and perform their own songs at the camp’s grand finale. The camp was founded by Karla Redding-Andrews, Executive Director of Otis Redding Foundation and Lisa Love, former director the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2008.
“Educating children through music was a dream of my husband’s,” said Zelma Redding. “This camp’s emphasis on creativity and inspiration is something I think he would have been proud of and it is the kind of program we will continue to foster through our Foundation.”
The Otis Redding Center for Creative Arts is open to children of all ages. The foundation has staffed the center with Macon’s finest musicians. The center offers lessons in vocal, piano, strings, and percussion lessons. In addition, the foundation supports young dreamers through scholarships for these music enhancement lessons. Partnerships with the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and Townsend School of Music at Mercer University, Berklee College of
Music, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia also create catalysts for offering continuing education programs.
The DREAM Choir is a choir group comprised of Otis Redding Foundation kids. The group had the chance to perform as popular artist, Andra Day’s, backup singers. The group has done several performances around Macon and had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to participate in “In Performance At the White House” hosted by First Lady, Michelle Obama, The Grammy museum, and National Endowment for the Arts.
The DREAM Academy Charter School is a statewide education facility that will empower students to maximize their full potential through integration of arts and academics. The DREAM Academy will offer a new learning approach to a community whose relevance has a deep connection to music and the arts. National statistics have shown that a children gifted with the opportunity of self-expression and creativity paired with strong academics provides a well rounded and well prepared leader for a world of tomorrow. The academy will be located in Macon, GA. and will open in the Fall of 2018.