The Foundation received donations for the new Center from presenting sponsor, Cox Communications ($100,000) and Renasant Bank ($50,000)
The weekend featured performances by GRAMMY Award winner Robert Glasper, GRAMMY Award nominee Mickey Guyton, Kendra Morris, Monophonics, and The War and Treaty
September 12, 2022 (Macon, GA) – Lester Miller, Mayor of Macon, GA, proclaimed September 9th and 10th Zelma and Otis Redding Weekend in the city. September 9th would have been the multi-award-winning artist Otis Redding’s 81st birthday.
The weekend kicked off with a groundbreaking for the new Otis Redding Center for the Arts, which will house the Foundation’s numerous programs for students in pursuit of their goals in music and the arts. Those programs include the annual Otis Music Camp for ages 12-18, Camp DREAM for ages 5-11, music education workshops, private and group lessons, and opportunities to perform on iconic stages such as the Ryman Theatre in Nashville.
“Our family wants to thank the City of Macon for their continued support of the Foundation, and we thank our local partners including sponsors, Cox Communications, Sheridan Construction, and Renasant Bank,” stated Karla Redding-Andrews, Vice President, and Executive Director of the Otis Redding Foundation. “We are excited about the Center for the Arts and grateful for the support of so many people and organizations in our city.”
The weekend’s musical celebrations began with An Evening of Respect at the Grand Opera House on September 9th by honoring supporters DJ Derrick “D-Nice” Jones, for uniting the world with his music, Georgia heroes Chuck and Rose Lane Leavell, Dr. Vicki Perdue Scott of Legacy Builders Foundation, and Dr. C. David Keith of Mercer University. The evening continued with performances by former Otis Redding Foundation music student, Zach Wilson, who is currently the Musical Director for the Foundation and recently released his first album, which was recorded at Capricorn Studios in Macon, GA. His performance included a rendition of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.”
Grammy nominated artist, Mickey Guyton took the stage and performed songs from her 2021 Grammy-nominated album “Remember Her Name” as well as one of Otis Redding’s biggest hits, “Respect.”
The evening concluded with a performance by Grammy Award-winning, jazz-influenced pianist Robert Glasper, who invited poet Amir Sulaiman to join him with a poem written for the evening, together with Glasper’s rendition of Redding’s “Hard to Handle” and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” Charles Davis, Creative Director/Radio Host at 100.9, The Creek FM was the host for the evening.
The celebration continued Saturday night with the Big ‘O’ Homecoming Show at the Capitol Theatre, hosted by Justin Andrews and Charles Davis. Performances by Otis Redding Foundation coaches and instructors, Reese Soul, DKOMX and Aläz set the tone for an evening of tributes to the King of Soul. Throughout the evening, featured artists performed Otis Redding hits, including Kendra Morris with “Pain in My Heart,” Monophonics with “Down in the Valley” and The War and Treaty with “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now).”
About the Otis Redding Foundation
The Otis Redding Foundation’s mission is to empower, enrich, and motivate all young people through programs involving music, writing and instrumentation. 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 Redding Center for the Arts
The Otis Redding Center for the Arts is a multipurpose space open to students ages 3-18 who have a desire to explore their interest in all elements of music and the arts. Planning is well underway with a proposed opening in 2023. The Center will be staffed with Macon’s finest musicians offering private music lessons in areas such as piano, audio engineering, strings, and more. Students are encouraged to go beyond and tap into their best effort. The Center believes in the vitality of music and the arts and continues to develop those avenues for youth. Partnerships with Mercer University, Middle Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University and more, help make these efforts possible for our students.