The Adolf Busch Award is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 prize. This year’s winner of the $10,000 Award is the Shropshire Foundation, an organization founded in 1999 by Liz Shropshire that brings music to the children of war torn regions such as Uganda, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, and Syrian refugee camps. Since its founding, Liz – aided primarily by volunteers – has affected the lives of over 17,000 children in these regions. Liz has almost single-handedly accomplished this by developing a sustainable model of training volunteers and working with local communities. The impact on these children, some of whom were child soldiers, has been profound. Congratulations to Liz and her team.
Although we initially planned on recognizing one organization, we were overwhelmed with applications from extraordinary groups doing important and impactful work in different communities around the world. Two more in particular struck us as deserving of recognition: Musicians Without Borders, and the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. Especially in this time of crisis for refugees and oppressed people around the world, we felt that these two organizations should receive special prizes of $2,500 each.
Musicians Without Borders, led by Laura Hassler has done exceptional work in challenged communities in the Middle East, and Africa, as well as Kosovo and the Netherlands. Partnering with local communities, organizations, and musicians around the world, MWB had made a significant difference in addressing the long-term needs of refugees and children in these areas of conflict.
The Afghanistan National Institute of Music, led by Dr. Ahmad Naser, teaches Afghan and Western music to children in Afghanistan. Focused on both exceptionally talented children from all parts of Afghan society, as well as underprivileged children, ANIM has surmounted great social and political obstacles in its dedication to creating more opportunity for Afghanistan’s children. ANIM’s work with girls is especially noteworthy in a culture that provides fewer opportunities for education and advancement for women.
Congratulations to all three winners. Also, thanks once again to all of the exceptional organizations doing such important work by using music to create a more civil and just society.