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Nelson music project gets grant from Dave Matthews Band charity

The Nelson County Historical Society has received a grant of $7,500 from the Bama Works Fund to celebrate the county’s musical heritage.

“The Nelson Music Project” is scheduled to open in early July at the historical society’s Oakland Museum. The exhibit will feature county musicians such as musicians Jimmy Fortune, Ral Satterwhite and Curtis Matthews, as well as instrument makers such as George Thomas Fortune and teachers such as Othello Wilson.

While the project highlights music-making from Nelson County, its recent grant has musical ties a bit more northward. The Bama Works Fund was established by the Charlottesville-based Dave Matthews Band in 1999. The fund supports projects focusing on a wide range of initiatives, including voting rights, environmental care and sustaining the arts.

Other contributors will help make the $18,000 project a reality. A private donor will grant the project $1,5000, while the Nelson County Historical Society will match with $9,000 from its music project fund.

The project’s research will be coordinated by Massies Mill musician and music historian Jimbo Cary, with the University of Lynchburg’s Bill Noel coordinating and editing video of interviews and performances. Suggestions and information about Nelson’s musicians and instrument makers can be sent to Woody Greenberg, a member of the historical society’s board of directors and the project director, at

The Oakland Museum is located at 5365 Thomas Nelson Highway in Arrington and is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.


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