GRAMMY Fund Breakfast during GRAMMY Week 2022
Photo: David Becker/Getty Images for the Recording Academy
GRAMMY Week 2022: How The Recording Academy's Advocacy Team And The GRAMMY Fund Breakfast Fight To Advance Music Creators' Rights
They say teamwork makes the dream work. To prove that axiom true, music creators and lawmakers must unite to advance the rights of music professionals. The drive to increase support for music creators defined the theme at the third GRAMMY Fund Breakfast, a fundraiser for the Recording Academy's Political Action Committee (PAC) held by the Advocacy & Public Policy team.
The GRAMMY Fund Breakfast — an official GRAMMY Week 2022 event held at Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas on April 2 — gathered leaders of the Recording Academy's Advocacy team, supporters and advocates to thank them for their support and contributions to advancing creators' rights. The event raises funds for the GRAMMY Fund for Music Creators, a PAC that provides Recording Academy members the opportunity to help defend music makers' rights and support their best interests on significant policy issues. With a deep understanding of the creators' journey, the Recording Academy Advocacy team strives to build a better future for all music makers.
Leaders of the committee spoke on the importance of championing music advocacy throughout the GRAMMY Fund Breakfast fundraiser. Todd Dupler, Acting Chief Advocacy & Public Policy Officer at the Recording Academy, expressed the utmost appreciation for the Recording Academy's National Advocacy Committee and backers.
"Your support for what we are doing here fuels our advocacy work all year long, fighting for music creators and for creators' rights," he said.
During the event, Dupler recognized members of the Advocacy team, including Recording Academy Co-President Valeisha Butterfield Jones, as well as trustees in attendance — among them, Recording Academy Board Of Trustees Chair Tammy Hurt, Vice Chair Rico Love and Chair Emeritus Christine Albert. He also offered thanks to his Advocacy & Public Policy team members in attendance, including Senior Director Michael Lewan, Project Manager Anngela Hanks, and Executive Assistant Montana Miller.
Dupler also acknowledged Brookly Bowl founder and owner Peter Shapiro for hosting the event. At the venue, located in the LINQ Promenade, fundraiser attendees settled into large leather sofas as they drank breakfast cocktails and noshed on gourmet morsels.
Shortly after, Andrew Joslyn, composer, orchestrator, violinist, and Co-Chair of the National Advocacy Committee, took the mic. With great enthusiasm, Joslyn delivered a heartfelt speech, expressing appreciation to the Washington, D.C.-based Advocacy team and donors. Through his leadership role, he aims to advance economic equality and recovery for all musicians.
"I wanted to talk a little about the human aspect of what the GRAMMY Fund does. Advocacy sometimes can feel like a stratospheric concept," Joslyn said, adding that he is a gig musician. "It doesn't really get to the heart of what it actually means. Becoming a full-time musician for a lot of artists is the dream. It's not about the glitz and the glamor and the millions of dollars. It's about being able to sustain the dream.
"The pandemic, the zombie apocalypse, Ice Age, we've all been living through, that was difficult for all of us," he continued. "The gigs stopped. The work stopped. The tours stopped. So where's the money come from? Here's the human aspect that you need to know."
In his gripping speech, Josyln praised the Committee for their dedication to making progressive changes in the music industry, noting that the Advocacy team is "really on the front lines making sure that people like me, people like my colleagues" can live their dreams and sustain a living. "The conductors, the engineers, the road crew, the people that make the dream happen for all the superstars. They're the ones that are suffering.
"The money you are contributing today is putting forth the dreams for all the musicians," Joslyn said. "Not just for me … but all the people that deserve the right to be here in the future. Thank you so much."
Following Joslyn, Yolanda Adams, Co-Chair of the Academy's National Advocacy Committee and the event's special guest host, took the floor. The iconic gospel singer and four-time GRAMMY winner has been at the forefront of fighting for fair compensation for artists and creating legislation to increase the rights of creators.
"I am so excited about the future. We have come through some really stressful, hard times, and to see you all in attendance today makes our hearts just burst with joy because we know that the work we are doing is not going in vain," she said. "We're fighting on the Hill, we're fighting at the state level, we're fighting on the local level. Everywhere we fight, we know the fight is worth it."
Adams' radiant presence and warm voice charmed the crowd. "Although our faces are the most prominent, your participation helps us get to the Senate floor [and] the House floor to tell folks, 'Hey, y'all doing us wrong.1945 prices for 2022. That will not work!' Some of y'all didn't get the joke, you'll catch it after the Bellini."
Such efforts require a team, she continued. "We could not do this without you. None of us are islands," Adams said with exuberance. "We all got here through people, so we're gonna need people. I am so glad that the people we need today are the amazing folks in this room who are going to make it happen."