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Gibson Guitar and the Austin GuitarTown Steering Committee announces the selection of local beneficiaries.

AUSTIN, TEXAS - Gibson Guitar and the Austin GuitarTown Steering Committee announced the launch of Austin GuitarTown, a public arts project that will feature up to fifty (50) 10-foot tall fiberglass Gibson guitars painted by visual artists and celebrities along with several showcase Gibson Les Paul guitars recently.

The sculptures, once completed, will be placed throughout the city and later auctioned off for charity at a final Auction Gala event. The Austin GuitarTown Steering Committee, made up of various leaders and involved citizens of Austin, has selected the following non-profit organization as beneficiaries of this exciting community project. These beneficiaries will be the recipients of all proceeds raised by the project including sponsorships, Auction Gala proceeds and other special events which may lend themselves to donations. The beneficiaries announced include:

Health Alliance for Austin Musicians/HAAM
With a focus on wellness and prevention, the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) serves musicians who previously had to delay seeking care until forced to go to the emergency room, the most expensive kind of treatment. HAAM was formed in March, 2005 to provide affordable health care to Austin’s low-income, uninsured working musicians. Partners and services include: Seton Healthcare Network provides primary health care. St. David’s Community Health Foundation provides basic dental care. The SIMS Foundation provides mental health counseling. Together the three partners work to assure that musicians have access to caring, high quality, affordable healthcare.

Austin Museum of Art/AMOA
The Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) is dedicated to developing and educating a broad audience for the visual arts in Austin focusing primarily on 20th-century and contemporary arts. AMOA is dedicated to presenting and originating a broad range of exhibitions as well as lively interpretative programming emphasizing interdisciplinary connections between the visual arts and every day life. AMOA envisions developing an exciting and accessible museum as an essential part of the fabric of city life. The Austin Museum of Art aims to be embraced as Austin’s museum of art with an institutional identity that reflects the spirit of Austin and its eclectic creative culture, one that is informal, relevant to Austin today, community oriented, non-tradition/unconventional and collaborative.

American Youthworks

American Youthworks has been supporting the lives of at-risk Austin youth for over 30 years. With comprehensive services, including charter school, community service, and life support programs, American Youthworks has enabled thousands of would-be high school dropouts to become instead at-promise youth. The core philosophy of American Youthworks is Service-Learning, which links classroom education with service projects that address real community needs. The goal of American Youthworks is to ensure that participants complete high school, allowing them to earn more over their lifetime; find employment that supports them and their family; build life skills that last a lifetime; and gain self respect that comes with self-sufficiency and giving back to the community.

Austin Children’s Museum

The mission of the Austin Children’s Museum is to inspire kids and the adults in their lives to experience the joy of learning through the power of constructive play. Founded in 1983 by a grass-roots coalition of parents and educators, the Austin Children’s Museum, originally opened as a “Museum without walls” with exhibits and programs hosted in schools, parks, recreation centers, libraries, and malls. It is the goal of the Austin Children’s Museum to provide highly interactive and quality educational programs for families, communities and

The Austin GuitarTown Steering Committee includes: Honorary Chairman: Henry Juszkiewicz (Chairman and CEO/Gibson Guitar Corp); Honorary Committee: Music Icons, Ray Benson and Willie Nelson, along with Texas Football Legend, Coach Darrell Royal and the Honorable Will Wynn; Steering Committee Members: Wendy Anderson (Austin Film Society), Clifford Antone (Antone’s Record Company), Susan Antone (Antone’s Nightclub/American Youthworks), Becky Arreaga (Mercury Mambo), Ed Bailey(KRLU), Jim Butler (City of Austin Economic Growth & Redevelopment Service Office), Howard W. Carey (Capitol Sports & Entertainment), Chris Collins (KUT), Dana Friis-Hansen (Austin Museum of Art), Theresa Jenkins (The Recording Academy, Texas Chapter), Katherine Jones (Milkshake Media LP), Rose Reyes (Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau), Ronne Rock (KXAN/NBC Austin*KNVA/Austin’s WB*KXAM/NBC Hill Country), Robin Shivers (R.R.S. Management, Inc.), Kerry Tate (TateAustin), Tracy Walker (Clear Channel Radio) and Mark Strama (Texas State Representative).

The Austin GuitarTown Project will be administered through the Gibson Foundation, a Division of the Gibson Guitar Corp., which is dedicated to improving the quality of life through its support of the arts, education, health & welfare and environmental causes.

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