Founders Award

An annual fundraiser to benefit EMP's youth programs, EMP's Founders Award features legendary performers who have made substantial contributions to the field of music.

  1. “The Birds of St. Marks,” Jackson Browne’s latest lead single, was originally written in 1967 when Jackson was just 18 and returning home to California after a brief stint living in New York. Originally recorded as a demo in 1970, it’s only today that it’s been given the treatment Jackson had originally envisioned. “This is a song I always heard as a Byrds song, and that was even part of writing the song,” he told Rolling Stone. The finished version of the song features Greg Leisz playing a “McGuinn-esque 12-string.”

  2. Maya Flood (2013 Youth Advisory Board member and Teen Artist Workshop alum) sang and played keyboard as part of EMP Museum’s All-Star Teen Band, Vuja De. The band performed a medley of “What’s Happening?!?!” by the Byrds, “Carrie Anne” by The Hollies, and “Bluebird” by Buffalo Springfield at the seventh annual Founders Award Celebration, an annual fundraiser benefit that supports EMP's numerous youth programs.

    Photo courtesy EMP staff.

  3. Brandi Carlile and bandmates, Tim and Phil Hanseroth, performed the Crosby, Stills & Nash song "Helplessly Hoping" from the 1969 self-titled debut album at the 2013 Founders Award Celebration.

    Photo courtesy Jim Bennett.

Founders Award Celebration

The annual Founders Award Celebration is EMP Museum’s signature fundraiser, celebrating the life’s work of living legends while meaningfully contributing to the institution’s extensive education programs.

This unique and unforgettable evening takes place in EMP’s magnificent Sky Church and includes a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception, elegant dinner, short-format live auction, and a thrilling tribute concert featuring an ensemble cast of guest musicians.

At Founders Award, EMP proudly honors the artists whose contributions to music have touched the lives of many the world over. Founders Award has played host to a remarkable group of musical superstars, including: Jackson Browne; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Billy Cox; Steve Cropper; Buddy Guy; Robbie Robertson; Carlos Santana; and Ann and Nancy Wilson.

Since its inception in 2007, the Founders Award has raised more than $2,625,000 in support of vital youth development programming.

Benefitting EMP’s Youth Programs

Education is at the heart of EMP’s mission to celebrate and encourage imaginative thinking in people of all ages. EMP’s youth programs are essential to fostering our region’s cultural vibrancy, and sparking the next generation of dreamers:

  • Sound Off! is the Northwest’s premier 21 and under battle of the bands, providing rising stars with industry mentoring opportunities and a public platform to share their music
  • Curriculum Connections Outreach partners with underserved schools to provide artist residencies and hands-on arts lessons aligned with Common Core WA standards
  • STAR (Students Training in Artistic Reach) supports music ensembles of all genres through valuable coaching in the artistic skills necessary to perform in a professional capacity
  • Teen Artist Workshops and Creativity Camps for Kids serve youth of all skill levels with courses that range from songwriting and instrumentation to music journalism and video game programming

A special thank you to the generous sponsors and supporters of the 2014 Founders Award Celebration:

Headliner Sponsor

CTI BioPharma

Official Airline

Alaska Airlines

Rockin' Chef Sponsor

Wolfgang Puck

Legend Sponsor

Union Bank

Rockstar Sponsors

BBVA CompassChase

Celebrity Supporters

AramarkCaffe VitaChihuly Garden and GlassHermansonHoward S. Wright ConstructionMarshPublicis SeattleSeattle SeahawksSorrentoSpace NeedleVisit SeattleVulcanWashington TrustWells Fargo Private BankZurich