Fender Teams with Several Influential Artists for Fender Play Foundation
Fender announces its new non-profit with the help of Brendon Urie, Avril Lavigne, Chris Stapleton and more to provide resources and music education opportunities to educate young players.
By Mike Duffy
After over seven decades of building some of the finest instruments and inspiring people to play music around the world, Fender is now looking to inspire the next generation with the Fender Play Foundation.
To celebrate the launch of this new non-profit, Fender has invited some of the most-inspiring musicians across genres, including Chris Stapleton, Avril Lavigne, Ashley McBryde, Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie, Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt, and Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz to serve as the Fender Play Foundation Artist Ambassadors for the 2019-2020 year, with others to be announced at a later date.
Over the next three years Fender Play Foundation will raise $3 million for educational institutions and organizations that provide youth with opportunities to learn how to play. To kick-start fundraising efforts, Fender will donate $1 million and use that initial donation to expand further fundraising. Support for music education programs will start in the brand’s own backyard near its Los Angeles, Nashville and Scottsdale, Ariz., offices with plans to expand to more cities and programs in 2020.
“Leo Fender believed that all artists are angels and his job was to give them wings to fly,” said Fender CEO Andy Mooney. “We view the Fender Play Foundation as an important vehicle to equip, educate and inspire the next generation of artists. Every child deserves access to music education opportunities and tools that give them ‘wings to fly.’ As an avid player, I can attest to the many benefits that come with playing an instrument and how the power of music can enrich your life.”
Artist Ambassadors will partner with the Foundation to inspire youth through initiatives like surprise instrument drops and meet and greets in their local communities, donating signed gear and memorabilia for auction, appearing at galas, as well as providing guidance and direction on the Foundation’s overall direction to ensure youth are served in the best way possible. In turn, Fender will support artist ambassador charities that align with the Fender Play Foundation’s overall mission. Additional artists are slated to become artist ambassadors in 2020. The Fender Play Foundation will also support charities near and dear to artists, such as Notes For Notes and the Boys & Girls Club.
“Fender has been so supportive of The Avril Lavigne Foundation since its inception, so I was honored when they asked me to be part of the launch of their own charitable efforts,” said Lavigne. “Providing instruments to schools, camps and others who don’t have access to music on a daily basis is both necessary and inspiring, and I’m looking forward to working alongside my fellow Artist Advisors to deliver what is sure to be a lifetime of exciting memories!”
“I am so proud to partner with Fender,” said McBryde. “Getting instruments into the hands of music educators and kids who genuinely need them is such an honor. Inspiring the next generation of musicians and artists is some of the most important work I could ever be a part of. “
“I’m excited to team up with the Fender Play Foundation to support the next generation of shredders,” said Urie. “Growing up in Vegas my music mentors and education were such a huge influence on my life, I hope through partnering with Fender, that I can help do the same for young musicians!”
Fender Play Foundation works with organizations, educators and artists to support communities through equipment donations, personalized instruction and artist experiences. Operating under the belief that music is a universal language that empowers self-expression and community-building everywhere, the Fender Play Foundation strives to place these powerful tools in the hands of youth who aspire to play. The Foundation’s primary goals are to:
Create access points for youth learning, as well as provide gear for educational institutions, schools and organizations that will have the ability to apply for grants
Give students access to essential learning tools. Fender Play subscriptions will be provided with instrument drops and donations and the Foundation will work to subsidize the cost of instructors
Work with Fender Play Foundation Artist Ambassadors, who will donate their time to inspire youth, focused on instrument drops and appearances in local communities. All artist ambassadors will donate signed instruments and memorabilia for auction to benefit the Foundation
The Foundation has already kicked off its first month by donating guitars, ukuleles and basses to Adopt the Arts, Notes for Notes, Musack, Young Musicians Foundation and other organizations that share the Foundation’s belief in the power of music. To support players, instruments will be accompanied with a subscription to Fender Play, the complete learning app for guitar, bass and ukulele that gets beginners playing in minutes through guided paths and top-notch curriculum.
Additionally, this month the Fender Play Foundation is partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Los Angeles, Watts-Willowbrook Clubhouse, to build and launch an interactive space, equipped with Squie® guitars and basses, Rumble and Champion amplifiers, accessories and Fender Play e-learning stations for its 200-plus members to learn guitar, ukulele and bass.
In September, Fender Play Foundation will also support long-time investor partner Servco’s Centennial Service Campaign by helping facilitate the donation of 2,000 California Coast Series ukuleles and 750 Classic Design and FA Series acoustic guitars, soft cases, and Fender Play subscriptions to public and charter schools in Hawaii. These instruments will be distributed to 55 schools throughout the Hawaiian Islands creating access for over 8,550 students.
Even before it launched, the Fender Play Foundation was quietly working with other Fender artists supporting causes important to them - such as Tom Morello and Grammy-award winning musical ensemble 1500 or Nothin’ Sound Academy – designed to serve as a bridge between school and a potential career in the music business, teaching kids the necessary knowledge and tools they need to succeed in the modern-day.