GuitarTown Beneficiaries

Austin GuitarTown event participants: visual artists Shanny Lott and Debra Samples, master instrumentalist Lloyd Maines, Texas music legend Ray Wylie Hubbard, Grammy winner Terri Hendrix, Asleep at the Wheel front man Ray Benson, musician-artist Sara Hickman, and visual artist Ann Pinion. Photo credit: Gary Miller

April 2, 2008

CHECK FOR $586,085

American Youthworks, Austin Children’s Museum, Austin Museum of Art,
Health Alliance for Austin Musicians Wowed by Contributions

Austin, TX — Austin Mayor Will Wynn, on behalf of The Gibson Foundation, today presented a check for $586,085 to the four local non-profit groups that were chosen as beneficiaries of the year-long Austin GuitarTown public-art project of 10-foot Gibson guitar sculptures and regular-size showcase art guitars decorated by Texas artists and displayed across the city and then auctioned at a gala last October.

Representatives of American Youthworks, Austin Children’s Museum, Austin Museum of Art and Health Alliance for Austin Musicians were at the Gibson Guitar Showroom on South Congress Avenue to accept the mega-check on behalf of their members, clients and guests who will reap the benefits.

“We are thrilled to be a beneficiary of the GuitarTown project,” said Lisa Lee, director of development for Austin Children’s Museum. “Our community came together to support this celebration of creativity. Now we accept this generous donation to continue our work that inspires creativity and exploration in the children and families of our community.”

Also on hand were representatives of Austin GuitarTown’s gold sponsors Keller Williams, AMD, Dell, MFI Foundation, Brown Distributing/Budweiser and RunTex, who were given Gibson Flying V guitars emblazoned with the GuitarTown logo and customized with the company brand on the guitars’ pick guards. Other sponsor gifts included original guitar sculpture artwork submitted by artists in consideration of the public-art project, recognition plaques, and commemorative posters signed by Ray Benson, Austin GuitarTown committee chairman and Asleep at the Wheel front man.

Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Terri Hendrix backed by master instrumentalist Lloyd Maines performed Wednesday, and legendary Texas songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard and Benson were in attendance — all of whom added their signatures to a guitar sculpture. Austin GuitarTown steering committee members as well as artists who designed and decorated both sizes of the art guitars were also present.

Serving as a backdrop was the first 10-foot Gibson guitar sculpture ever made, the burnt orange prototype, which was given to committee head Benson as a thank-you. Commemorative posters as well as the guitar sculpture collage used for the commemorative plaques were also on display. Wisky Clothing sold its Austin GuitarTown T-shirts, of which a portion of proceeds is donated to beneficiaries, and 2 Dine 4 Catering and 2 Bodacious Chefs worked together to provide an exquisite brunch.

Austin GuitarTown, presented by Gibson Guitar, featured 35 10-foot-tall fiberglass Gibson guitars and 30 showcase guitars and united the Austin art, business and music communities that decorated, displayed and backed the project to raise funds for the four local organizations. The festive and prestigious Auction Gala, emceed by Hubbard and delivered by the AT&T Austin Marathon and RunTex, was held October 17 at GSD&M’s Idea City. Two of the guitars, auctioned by Los Angeles’ Juliens Auctions (live, online and by TV around the world), went for $55,000 each.

Money was also raised through the sale of the vibrant Austin GuitarTown limited-edition collector’s art book that features images of the entire collection of Gibson Guitar sculptures and showcase guitars as well as profiles of the participating visual artists along with the musicians and celebrities who joined the project.

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