The Otis Redding Foundation unveils plans for an arts center honoring his legacy

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Iate a legendary singer Otis Redding used his talent to transform the world of music, and a new space created in his honor will inspire generations of artists to do the same. the Otis Redding Foundation recently unveiled plans to build a performing arts center in the heart of Georgia.

The 9,000 square foot facility, dubbed the Otis Redding Center for the Arts and Amphitheater, will serve as a space to foster innovation. With a focus on empowering young people through music and other forms of creative expression, the Macon-based center will house studios and art labs for students to explore the different elements of production , songwriting and performing. Using the arts to cultivate community, it will include an outdoor amphitheater that will serve as a gathering space.

Redding’s wife Zelma– who founded the Otis Redding Foundation 15 years ago to advance her husband’s philanthropic efforts – says the center will be a continuation of her mission to uplift young people. The foundation also runs an 11-day summer camp for youth ages 12 to 18 in Macon, Georgia.

“Educating children through music was a dream of my husband,” she shared in a declaration. “He would have been proud of the Foundation’s programs that emphasize creativity and inspiration.

The project is funded by a $1 million gift from Zelma and donations from the Knight Foundation and the Griffith Foundation.

Beyond his music, Redding was known for giving it back. The Georgia native, who has had hits like “Try a Little Tenderness” and “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” has provided scholarships and financial support to underprivileged children. His life was tragically cut short in 1967 in a plane crash. However, its legacy lives on through artists who have used their craft to inspire.


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William E. Bennett