Honorees

 

Blood:Water Mission, founded by the multi-platinum, GRAMMY® Award winning band, Jars of Clay, and activist Jena Lee Nardella, began as a call to personalize the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa.

Since their launch in 2004, Blood:Water has raised over $27 million through the creative efforts of tens of thousands of individuals seeking to make a difference. They believe that Africa holds the leadership, creativity, passion and resolve necessary to address the HIV/AIDS and water crises. That’s why they’ve spent the past ten years working alongside more than a dozen African organizations to bring clean water and HIV/AIDS support to 1 million people in 11 countries.


Gospel Music Trust Fund was founded in 1983 by the late Herman Harper former member of the Oak Ridge Boys and President of The Harper Agency, a major booking agency for gospel artists. It exists to provide financial assistance, in the event of an emergency or major catastrophe, terminal or severe illness, to individuals who have derived a substantial portion of their income from the field of Gospel music.

The Gospel Music Trust Fund was developed through generous donations and fundraising activities by numerous Gospel music artists, songwriters and musicians, major music companies and publishers, and caring fans. The Trust Fund has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to artists, writers, musicians and business professionals in need from all genres of Gospel music.


 

Hope for Harvest: Catherine Brewton, Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations of BMI, founded Hope For Harvest, a four-day event as an effort to fund and continue the services provided by Community Outreach Christian Ministries/The Harvest Center after the passing of her mother, Pastor Barbara Brewton-Cameron. This life-changing outreach impacts the community of Charlotte, N.C. by not only providing necessary living items to Charlotte’s under-served youth, but also provide an escape through music, dance and words of encouragement. Last year, Hope for Harvest fed over 2,000 homeless citizens of the Charlotte community and raised awareness and funds towards the alleviation of homelessness. In the music industry Catherine’s reputation proceeds her. She was named 2013 Billboard Magazine “Woman of The Year”. Vibe, Ebony, Marie Claire and many other  publications have lauded her and her many efforts for the advancement of arts, as well as her philanthropic passions.

 


Rocketown: Michael W. Smith is an acclaimed singer, songwriter and musician who has sold more than 15 million albums, achieved 32 No. 1 songs, received 2x RIAA Multi Platinum, 6 Platinum and 16 Gold certified albums, earned three GRAMMY® Awards, one American Music Award and 45 Dove Awards. 

Amassing an in-depth catalog of achievements, Smith was honored at ASCAP’s 100th Anniversary for his groundbreaking career and significant influence in music. He performed at Former First Lady Barbara Bush’s 90th birthday celebration and also had the privilege to join Former President Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and others in remembering victims in the 20th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City attacks. 

Smith was appointed by the White House as Vice Chair for the President’s Council on service and civic participation and, most recently, was the featured performer at the 2015 USO Gala and recognized as a USO veteran.

In addition to the international impact he has had through multiple global tours, he has written and composed various scored film projects, has authored 12 books, has acted in assorted motion pictures and has been featured by numerous national media outlets. Smith’s latest project Hymns II: Shine On Us, released on January 29. Following the hugely successful Hymns album, exclusively released by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Michael W. Smith announces his second installation infusing gospel roots and beautifully, captivating arrangements on of some of the most popular hymns we know and love.

He founded, and actively supports, the teen club Rocketown – a nonprofit outreach for teens, providing opportunities in arts, music, sports and mentoring programs. This year also marks the 25th anniversary in partnership with Compassion International, seeing more than seventy thousand families’ and children’s lives changed, around the world.  For more information, visit www.michaelwsmith.com.


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