M.U.S.E. Foundation

BEHIND THE SCENES

April 25, 1999|By Karin Remesch

Mission: Sharing the love and power of music as a conduit to raise funds and public awareness for worthwhile charitable causes. Founded by Kenn Roberts and his Hard Travelers Band 11 years ago, the Baltimore-based M.U.S.E. (Music Unites the Soul of Everyone) Foundation organizes charity concerts that are headlined by international stars. Since its inception, the foundation's annual Hard Travelers Benefit Concert for Cystic Fibrosis at the Baltimore Arena has raised more than $3 million for CF research. Other charitable organizations also benefit from the foundation's fund-raising efforts. No fees are charged for the production of shows, and the foundation underwrites many of the expenses.

Latest accomplishments: The Hard Travelers' 11th Annual Benefit Concert for Cystic Fibrosis, conducted last year and starring country star Randy Travis, drew a crowd of more than 8,500 and raised $460,000. Previous entertainers include Alabama, Kenny Rogers and John Denver.

On the horizon: With the goal of raising at least $850,000 this year, the foundation has scheduled a variety of concerts throughout the country, including a Concert for Cystic Fibrosis at the Richmond Coliseum starring Alabama, June 4; the 12th Annual Hard Travelers Benefit Concert for Cystic Fibrosis, starring five-time country male vocalist of the year Vince Gill, Aug. 27 at the Baltimore Arena; and in October and November, musical tributes to John Denver by former band members at the George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts in Fairfax, Va., the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colo., and Royce Hall at UCLA, Los Angeles.

About the foundation: Attendance: About 10,000 annually. Operating budget: About $150,000.

Where and when: 102 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 504, in Towson. Call 410-825-6873 or 888-384-5054. Web site: http://www.bids4kids.com.

Kenn Roberts, founder and chairman of the board: "I look around me and I see a number of people who have been blessed with incredible musical talents, and I feel that one of the purposes of the power of music is to motivate people, to bring them together. ... We use that power to raise money for worthy causes. All the money we raise goes directly to charities; we don't put any money into the coffers of the foundation. I founded M.U.S.E. 11 years ago because I had a very successful career and felt it was payback time."

Members of the board

Connie Cadwell

P. Douglas Dollenberg

Lawrence E. Kushner

Richard S. Pineau

M. Delmar Ritchie Jr.

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