ACM LIFTING LIVES® BRINGS MUSIC TO LIFE
FOR 2020 VIRTUAL ACM LIFTING LIVES® MUSIC CAMP
FRANKIE BALLARD, ROSS COPPERMAN, J.T. HARDING, RUNAWAY JUNE,
CASSADEE POPE, MICHAEL RAY & TENILLE TOWNES JOIN CAMPERS
FOR A WEEK OF MUSIC-ORIENTED ACTIVITIES JUNE 10 - 17
LOS ANGELES, CA (June 23, 2020) – ACM Lifting Lives®, the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music® hosted the 11th Annual ACM Lifting Lives® Music Camp with Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Wednesday, June 10 through Wednesday, June 17 via videoconference, with campers from all over the world including the U.S., Canada and Australia. Campers participated in a week of virtual activities and workshops joined by producer/songwriter Ross Copperman, Frankie Ballard, J.T. Harding, Runaway June, Cassadee Pope, Michael Ray and Tenille Townes.
ACM Lifting Lives® Music Camp is a residential program open to individuals with Williams syndrome and has a dual purpose of studying Williams syndrome while providing music enrichment through performance and education. This year, due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, campers enjoyed a fun-filled week of virtual musical experiences with artists/songwriters and staff members from the Academy of Country Music and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. For the first ever virtual camp, the campers enjoyed an unforgettable online experience with some of their favorite artists and songwriters.
“In spite of not having camp in-person this year, we were delighted to provide this virtual experience to 29 campers, five that joined for the first time,” said Lyndsay Cruz, ACM Lifting Lives Executive Director. “We felt it was more important than ever this year to continue to provide our campers with the music-oriented and educational experiences they enjoy, and we are so thankful to each artist and the Country Music community who helped make this camp a reality.”
On Thursday, Cassadee Pope joined the campers during a live zoom interview session with Seacrest Studios in Nashville, TN where the campers did a Q&A with Pope. The interview session was also broadcasted to a closed-circuit network for the patients at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to tune in.
During Friday’s virtual songwriting session with renowned songwriter/producer Ross Copperman, J.T. Harding and Runaway June, campers wrote their own original song, “World of Love,” to be recorded by each participant individually and compiled into a final song by Copperman. Following Friday’s activity, ACM and Vanderbilt staff joined the campers via Zoom Saturday morning, creating instruments from items at home.
On Sunday, ACM Lifting Lives® Music Camp continued with a touching talent show performance from each camper, featuring special appearances from Frankie Ballard, Michael Ray and Tenille Townes live via Zoom. Following the weekend activities, camp concluded with a variety of music-oriented activities such as line dancing and yoga through Wednesday, June 17.
The camp is a partnership between ACM Lifting Lives® and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. ACM Lifting Lives® funds the costs of the camp in addition to providing scholarships to several campers, enabling the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center to advance its mission of improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through research, training and service.
Photo #1: L-R: J.T. Harding, Hailee Hunt-Hawkins, Research Coordinator at Vanderbilt; Ross Copperman, Runaway June (Naomi Cooke, Natalie Stovall and Jennifer Wayne), and Lyndsay Cruz, ACM Lifting Lives Executive Director
Photo #2 L-R: Cassadee Pope with Mamie Shepherd, Program Manager for Seacrest Studios at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Photo #3: Frankie Ballard
Photo #4: Tenille Townes
Photo #5: Michael Ray
Photo Credit: Courtesy of ACM Lifting Lives
About ACM Lifting Lives®
ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music. Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry, ACM Lifting Lives® funds music health programs while also serving members of the music community who face unexpected hardships through its Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund. With generous donations and the support of artists and fans, ACM Lifting Lives® has funded national music therapy programs serving various mental and physical health organizations. Some of the recipients have included patients at children’s hospitals and other healthcare facilities, recovering veterans, people with Williams syndrome and individuals suffering with mental illness. For more information, please visit www.ACMLiftingLives.org.
About Williams Syndrome
Williams syndrome is a rare genetic condition (estimated to occur in 1/7,500 births) that causes medical and developmental problems. It is associated with an unusual pattern of strengths and weaknesses in linguistic and cognitive profiles, as well as intellectual disability.
About the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center has been opening doors and transforming the lives of children and adults with disabilities through innovative research, services, and training for over 50 years. Its mission is to facilitate discoveries and best practices that make positive differences in the lives of persons with developmental disabilities and their families.