A Hand Up, Not a Hand-out: The Music Maker Relief Foundation in Atlanta Open Access

Beiter, Claire (Spring 2021)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/zs25x974r?locale=en


This honors thesis explores the work of the Music Maker Relief Foundation, a non-profit and record label headquartered in Hillsborough, North Carolina that partners with traditional musicians in the southeastern United States to ensure that their voices are not silenced by poverty and time. The thesis considers the historically exploitative relationship between collectors and musicians in the American South and the work of other contemporary organizations who seek to preserve southern traditions. The Music Maker Relief Foundation has made a unique place for itself in this conversation by holistically supporting individuals creating music rather than just their music. This project includes an organizational history of the Music Maker Relief Foundation, an analysis of its COVID-19 response, and an exploration of its network of Atlanta-based artists.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: An Organizational History of a Contemporary Organization--------------6

Chapter Two: Keeping the Atlanta Blues Alive----------------------------------------------29

Chapter Three: Pandemic Era Problems and Possibilities----------------------------------51

Conclusion: An Adaptable “Relief”-----------------------------------------------------------68


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