The Mission Is:
To provide a brief overview of the history and activities of the Amy Winehouse Foundation between the time of its UK launch in September 2011 and its official arrival in the USA in April 2012. An ongoing digest of continuous updates will also deliver news and links to information about events related to the AWF.
This leaf is meant to offer a tiny primer for folks who know likkle or nothing about the AWF. Readers that want more details will consult the AWF-UK website, which provides timelines and news of all grant awards and fundraising activities. The USA site is also linked below, but does not contain all of the historical data available on the UK site.
The AWF founders, the AWF staff, and the thousands of fans, supporters, and cheerleaders have all been privileged to see the birth and growth of a charitable juggernaut that now has the potential to become the greatest legacy of the JadeMermaid Princess.
Because the media masked the truth about many aspects of AJW's life, few people on the planet are aware of the deep and long term connection the megastar had to the philanthropic community. Many folks may find incongruity in a charitable foundation bearing her name, when, in fact, no more logical AJW legacy could possibly be conceived.
To help readers learn more about the woman that Popworld continuously referred to as "The Most Charitable Act," an entry entitled The Quiet Generosity of Amy Jade Winehouse is linked below. Read that story to learn the important truth about AJW's philanthropic history, and to better understand the perfect continuity between the life of Amy Jade Winehouse and the establishment of the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
Within hours of enduring the darkest moment ever to visit him, Mitch Winehouse determined that his daughter's legacy should reach far beyond her unprecedented accomplishments in the entertainment world. He wanted to continue the dream - and the work - that AJW held closest: To deliver relief, comfort, opportunity and joy to young folks who had not been as blessed as she was.
Out of the gate, there were obstacles. Opportunists set on profiting from the derailment of AJW's dream would have demoralized a lesser human. Mitch fought back and the AWF was founded on September 14, 2011; the 28th anniversary of AJW's birth.
Immediately following the launch, all social media sprang to life in a reaction seldom seen over a new charity. The pall of depression and grief that had attached itself to fans began to lift; they had a new mission and they were up for it. Thousands of AJW fans and friends sprang into action and set out to help make the AWF a huge success.
The mood on the swiftly expanding flock of online Amy Pages changed from one of looking backwards in sorrow and defeat, to one of moving forward with untempered optimism. It is no stretch of the facts to note that the AWF saved the mental health - and possibly the lives - of many AJW fans and friends. Just as she had always done when she was with us, AJW was once again calling out for us to "move forward and live the dream."
AJW is safe now and neither disease nor the nature of others can hurt her anymore. Those who work to help construct her philanthropic legacy must not presume that they are doing it for AJW; she would not abide that notion. The work is about helping the folks that AJW would have continued to help if her amazing adventure had not been cut short. Though a great start in that effort has been made, decades of work remain and the support of each and every AJW fan is critical to getting the job done.
Folks who love AJW and are not yet in the AWF mix will find that now is a great time to jump in. Friends, fans, and newcomers to Amyville now have a great opportunity to help continue and expand the philanthropic legacy that AJW so quietly began.
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During its first year of operations, it is now estimated that the AWF may be in a position to disburse nearly $1-million in grants to worthwhile nonprofit organizations in the UK.
To date, a major portion of the AWF's largesse in the UK has been directed to hospices providing services and care to children with illnesses that will likely preclude their reaching adulthood. The families of these children lack the resources needed to adequately care for them at home and the hospices simply cannot meet the demand for services without help from private foundations.
The AWF is also focussed on funding emergency shelter and other services for young people at risk. Each year, scores of thousands of youngsters become abandoned and homeless on UK streets. The government's much heralded "social services" are grossly inadequate to meet this challenge. The AWF does not believe that any person is "disposable," and is prepared to help reverse what is now an abominable trend.
A scholarship scheme to help financially disadvantaged students has also been established within the AWF. Currently, a full-ride scholarship is being funded for a soon to matriculate student at the Sylvia Young Theatre School; AJW's alma mater. As resources permit, the scholarship program may be expanded.
Another issue close to the heart of the AWF is mandatory drug and alcohol education in government schools. Lobbying forces aligned with the AWF are now pressing Parliament to fund such programs for all students. A nationwide petition drive has been launched to encourage the implementation of extensive D&A education to help reduce the number of young people whose lives are being destroyed by the disease of addiction. Below is a link labeled "Petition To Her Majesty's Government" that displays a petition that UK residents may sign in support of the AWF efforts in this matter.
Because it is so early in the life of the AWF, it is difficult to predict each and every issue that the foundation will eventually tackle. However, with certitude, it is safe to predict that where children are suffering or at risk the AWF will express its concern by supporting worthwhile organizations that can help mitigate such suffering and abate those risks. The magnificent new adventure has only just begun and all signs point to an unlimited future of success for the likkle foundation that has solemnly pledged to help young people in the name of the JadeMermaid Princess.
In April 2012, the AWF initiated its USA presence with a headquarters in New York City.
During its startup period, the AWF-USA will focus on funding nonprofits that work to establish, reestablish and maintain music education for young students. As many American parents are aware, music education programs in most government schools have been sharply curtailed due to economic constraints. What those parents do not know is that for years AJW funded organizations that supplemented public school budgets to ensure the students in the hardest hit USA school districts would not lose access to music education. The AWF-USA efforts will continue and expand the work that AJW began.
The first AWF-USA grant has now been awarded to the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Program, which provides after school music education to students whose public school budgets have remained devastated since the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. AJW was among the first celebs to offer help following that calamity; now, her work will continue.
As school budgets stabilize and AWF-USA fundraising continues, it is expected that the foundation will greatly expand its focus onto other issues that closely mirror those being addressed by the AWF-UK. Funds raised in the USA will be granted in the USA.
Herebelow is a sampling of videos that document just a few of the grants that the AWF has thus far awarded. A large group of additional grants are being reviewed and will be awarded soon. Full grant details are at the AWF-UK website linked above.
For three decades, AJW's mum has battled MS. She was thrilled to announce this grant.
To call the AWF a "fundraising juggernaut" is a bit of an understatement. Mitch Winehouse is on a tireless campaign of performing benefit concerts, the AWF staff plots new events each day, and friends and fans continue to express their love for AJW through their generosity. The train is barely out of the station and the engineers have already proven that they know exactly how to make it run smoothly and efficiently. To learn full details about past and pending fundraising events, visit the AWF-UK and the AWF-USA websites.
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Even the very briefest overview of AWF fundraising highlights would be inadequate if Tony Bennett was not noted in the mix. ... Prior to the release of his latest album Duets II, on which Tone and AJW sang Body and Soul, TB caused the song to be released as a single, with all proceeds going to the AWF. To sweeten the deal, Tone wrote a personal check for $100K to the AWF. TB loves AJW, and her fans should support his records and concert appearances. ... On February 12, 2012, Tone appeared in Los Angeles with AJW's parents to collect her sixth Grammy; it was awarded for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group. The winning song was Body and Soul.
Note To UK Real Estate Owners: Hours before the publication of this leaf, it has been learned that the lease arrangements on the Pilion Trust emergency shelter for youth are not going to be extended for an additional term. In the event that a new location cannot be secured very quickly, the shelter will be forced to close and nearly 100 young folks will be turned back out onto the streets. On the chance that a UK real estate operator might see this leaf, the video detailing the looming crisis is displayed here. If you or someone you know might be able to help find the group a new longterm location, please contact the AWF. (Updates will be posted on this matter in this leaf.) Thanks.
Please Watch For Frequent Updates To This Leaf
Sylvia Young Theatre School
May 28, 2012: Shane Keogh Grenade, age 12, has become the first recipient of the four-year Sylvia Young Theatre School scholarship named for Amy Jade Winehouse. Jointly sponsored by the Amy Winehouse Foundation and the school, the scholarship is designed to assist children who would not otherwise be able to attend the school. Congrats to Shane and his family. We will all look forward to following his progress.
May 28, 2012: The famous actress is a tenured friend of the Winehouse family. She was once a victim of "Amy-Related Crime," when a likkle AJW "borrowed" a pair of fancy ashtrays from Barbara's home.
Barbara joins Jon Snow, who is also an AWF Patron.
May 29, 2012: Read the full illustrated story at the link.
Mitch Accepts Check From Brighton Institute of Modern Music
July 17, 2012: AWF supporters can now make easy donations to the Foundation while shopping online. Everyclick and Give As You Live have enabled the program. Full story at the link.
July 18, 2012: The Amy Winehouse Foundation has been chosen by eBay to be their Charity of the Week, from July 23 thru July 29. All purchases made on the online auction site will generate a donation to the AWF. Full story at the link.
July 31, 2012: Star Refining Group has donated $5,000 to the AWF. SRG is a global metal refining firm operating in the USA and abroad. The generous contribution will help fund music education programs in the USA.
The donation was accepted by Paul Sassiene, AWF friend and ghostwriter of Amy, My Daughter. SRG plans to be among the growing group of AWF sustaining supporters.
August 5, 2012: Last week, the AWF announced that it will facilitate the construction of a new medical center on north London land acquired by the Noah's Ark Children's Hospice. The new center will become the only children's hospice serving Camden, Islington and Enfield. This is the first of several major construction projects being contemplated by the AWF-UK.
Meanwhile, the AWF-USA continues to move forward rapidly - in partnership with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra - to create a fleet of afterschool music clubs for young people still being impacted by Katrina. The clubs will provide music education and meals for attendees. The program will expand in multiple USA locations, as American fundraising campaigns continue to grow.
August 10: Southampton, NY; AWF Awareness Campaign; Janis and Mitch attending; Hosted by AWF U.S. BOD at summer home of General Counsel David Hryck.
March 21, 2013: Waldorf Astoria NYC; AWF Inspiration Awards; Honorees, Tony Bennett, Salaam Remi; Artists wishing to contribute items for the event auction may contact AWF-US.
The exact totals raised through direct sales of AWF merchandise and via the EBAY donation feature are still being tallied. Preliminary counts show that the AWF's designation as EBAY Charity of the Week was a large success.
September 29, 2012 - Benefit Concert At Talking Heads
The first of its kind event will be held at Talking Heads, in Southampton, on Portswood Road.
Doors open at 1:00 PM and close at 2:00 AM. All day admission is £5.00.
Nonstop music and other performing arts will highlight the event. Original art and other items will be auctioned.
All proceeds from the function will be donated to the AWF.
Many more details - including a list of performers - are at the link:
9-14-12: Media reports indicate that the AWF is on track to meet its 2012 goals for fundraising and disbursements. Official UK government filings - including the AWF Annual Report - will be available soon.
Music Therapy Program Likely Beneficiary
Developing - 9-15-12: During the past 72-hours, multiple US media reports have taken note of comments allegedly made by Mitch Winehouse that an AWF Grant in support of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (BCM) is in the works.
If the reports are accurate, such a grant will place the AWF in the ranks of numerous other highly prestigious charitable foundations that support the outstanding work of the BCM.
It is speculated that any AWF involvement would focus on assisting the BCM's expansive Music Therapy Program (MTP), which serves hundreds of special needs children throughout New York City.
In partnerships with public schools, foster care administrators, and community organizations, the MTP uses licensed clinicians and instructors to help meet the social, emotional, psychological, and musical needs of hundreds of participating children. Absent the MTP, the students would have no access to the broad range of services offered.
The BCM was founded in 1897 as a formal conservatory serving 200 students. Today, more than 15,000 individuals are directly served and many thousands more enjoy the frequent community concerts performed by the BCM Orchestra.
To learn more about the important work being accomplished by the BCM and their partners, visit the BCM website.
UPDATE: 9-15-12 / 6:00 PM EST:
It has now been confirmed that the AWF is "considering" the subject grant.
Speculation: The AWF Inspiration Awards and Gala would be the perfect venue from which to announce a positive decision in the matter.
Photo by Rob Rich: Mitch and Janis, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, David Hryck.
Held on August 10, 2012, the AWF Awareness and Gala Planning Party drew more than 200 friends to the Southampton summer home of AWF General Counsel David Hryck.
Performances by Mitch and the Dominick Farinacci band delighted the crowd. In tribute to AJW, a ceremony sent lighted balloons high into the ocean floored sky.
Many celebs attended and a great time was had by all, as preparation for the 2013 AWF Inspiration Awards and Gala marched forward.
Tony Bennett, Nas and Remi will all be honored at the event.
The Gala will be held at the Waldorf Astoria. Tickets can be obtained by contacting the Saxton Group:
firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 212-672-0509
March 21, 2013 - New York City - Waldorf Astoria
[Photo Credit: WA Promotions]
Tickets Available via the Saxton Group ... email@example.com ... Phone 212-672-0509
All Proceeds To Amy Winehouse Foundation
11-10-12 Report: Centrepoint Sleepout A Great Success
Members of #TEAMAWF participated in the Centrepoint Sleepout and garnered pledges of about $3K for the effort. The event was designed to raise awareness about the challenges faced by the burgeoning population of homeless youth in the UK; now approaching an annual rate of 100K.
The AWF is proud to support organizations committed to delivering private solutions in the struggle to eliminate the problem. Centrepoint, New Horizon Youth Centre and the Pilion Trust are all prime movers in the war on homelessness.
The 2012 AWF Ball was held on November 20, at the Dorchester Hotel, London. Attended by numerous celeb performers, the UK event was a large fundraising success.
Volunteer organizers included: Adrian Levy (Chair), Mandy Grossman (Chair), Nicole Samson (Secretary), Howard Grossman, Samantha Simon, Marcus Grossman, Hayley Grossman, Ann Saleh, Lisa Patnick, Simon Patnick, Al Mayfield, and David Saleh.
A few photos from the event are in the gallery below. To view the entire star-studded photo album, click the link below.
Dorchester Hotel, London
Link To Interview With Music Therapist Miriam Hendeles
The concept of "Music Therapy" [MT] is not well understood by the general public; many folks think of the concept as an experimental oddity. In actual fact, MT has been clinically shown to deliver a broad range of benefits to a wide spectrum of special needs children, seniors facing physical and/or emotional challenges, adults with physical and mental impairments, and just ordinary folks seeking to better understand and express their creative impulses. While opinions - pro and con - are always useful in the search for answers to questions about the efficacy of any therapy, there no longer exists any reasonable opinion that does not accept the fact that MT is of benefit to its recipients.
Though the skeptic and the scientist in all humans usually wants to know the perfect hows and whys of the ways in which a given therapy gets results, sometimes the "evidence" is inherent in the obvious results and must simply be accepted. While clinicians continue to research precisely how/why MT delivers positive outcomes, it is enough for the rest of us to merely accept the elementary notion that we can easily grasp and identify with: In the words of Mitch Winehouse, "Music really does make one feel awfully much better."
During the past decade, scores of books have been published on every aspect of MT. Some volumes offer the positive findings of scientists, while others help train and guide licensed MT practitioners. Many new volumes will be published in 2013 and beyond; each bringing us closer to a full understanding of the changes in brain chemistry and physiology that occur when music is employed as therapy.
MT is not about spinning records for sick folks. The relationship that exists between the client/patient and the therapist is known to be critical to the effectiveness of MT. Licensed therapists are highly trained musicians and have received at least a four-year degree in the MT discipline; many have higher level degrees. All matriculating therapists must serve internships and meet rigorous testing guidelines in order to satisfy licensing regulations; each must participate in annual continuing education programs to assure that they remain current and proficient in their skills. By 2014, more than 100 USA universities are expected to offer degrees in MT.
In 2013 - as the AWF-USA mission of supporting and empowering children in need through music therapy and music education goes into full swing - this chronology page will begin to feature more informational blurbs and educational links on the subject of MT. Narrowly focused interviews with music therapists will be included in the mix.
Recently, Rochelle Judkovitz, a respected zujava writer who supports the goals of the AWF, had the opportunity to interview well known music therapist and author Miriam Hendeles. The pair talked about a wide variety of subjects, including Hendeles' new book and MT. Click here to read the full interview.
UPDATE 12-6-12: Following the publication of the first interview linked above, popular demand dictated that an additional interview - dedicated solely to the subject of MT - was warranted. Click here to read the second interview and MT Primer.
Nearly 100K Youth Become Homeless In UK Each Year
In 2005, Prince William - now HRH The Duke of Cambridge - became a patron of AWF-Grantee Centrepoint and has worked hard to raise awareness about the issue of youth homlessness. As children, Princes William and Harry made numerous visits to Centrepoint with another of the organization's patrons: Diana Princess of Wales.
With the annual number of homeless UK youth nearing 100K, the work of Centrepoint is more important than ever. To learn more about Centrepoint and to find out how you can serve in the war on homelessness, visit the Centrepoint website.
UK Event: Wednesday 13th February 2013 - At Pheasantry
Denmark Street Big Band: A Valentine’s Eve Special
Featuring The American Songbook with Mitch Winehouse.
Commemorative Shirt Auction To Benefit AWF
As Fred Perry celebrates its 60th year of dressing the world, the designer has enlisted 60 famous artists, musicians, and athletes to create a commemorative shirt. Later in 2013, the shirts will be auctioned to benefit the Amy Winehouse Foundation. Happy Birthday FP!
Will Fund Arts Participation For Disadvantaged Youth
The AWF has presented a $48,000 grant to Roundhouse Radio. The funds will allow about 100 financially disadvantaged kids to participate in radio arts programs and related activities administered by the Roundhouse organization.
The Roundhouse is a premier music venue in London; ticket sales help fund the organization's charity work. The last public stage graced by AJW is at the property. A life-size statue of AJW will be installed at the Roundhouse in July 2013, to permanently honor the megastar.
1-18-13: The AWF-USA has awarded a $25K grant to the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. The cash will help fund multiple scholarships for financially disadvantaged students in the BCM Jazz Education Program. Full Story.
1-23-13: In the face of unimaginable loss and tragedy, Janis has displayed great leadership skills within the AWF. All who love AJW, extend her mother a Happy Birthday wish and thank her for helping to build a philanthropic legacy that will forever endure.
Helps Fund Health and Wellbeing Team
Learn More About These Worthwhile Organizations
AJW was a constant user of Paperblanks. Many of her songs were first drafted in the journals; including "Tears Dry On Their Own," the lyrics of which are printed on these gorgeous new books.
If you plan to build a nice collection that will retain its value for many years, it is important that the items you collect are kept in 'mint' condition and remain in their original packaging.
Clean Break is a nonprofit theatre company with an independent education program that serves young women previously incarcerated in the UK prison complex and those at risk of being sucked into the system. The matriculates receive extensive training that leads to employment opportunities in theatrical fields. CB's award-winning productions are written and staged by program participants.
CB is among the most fascinating grantees that AWF-UK has yet awarded. AJW would no doubt be pleased. Visit the Clean Break website to learn more about their exciting work.
AWF is sustaining its support for the war against eating disorders being waged by B-eat. With the help of AWF, B-eat is expanding its outreach with the development of a new website. Full Details.
Eating Disorder Facts: 15% of those affected are males; Only 10% of sufferers will receive treatment; All racial groups are equally impacted; Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Visit the B-eat website to learn more about their aggressive work.
September 27, 2013: Amy Winehouse Foundation has been honored with the 'Charity of the Year' designation by the European Diversity Awards Conference. The prestigious award includes a gift of $7,500.
The AWF-UK 2013 Ball and Gala was held on 11-20 at The Dorchester. Attendance was up about 50% over 2012, and HUGE money was raised. World-Class entertainment and great auction items assured a great time was had by all.
The Most Recent Updates Appear Above This Graphic