Bama Works Fund Backs WTJU ‘Battle of the Bands’

Just three days before Charlottesville’s own Dave Matthews Band opens a two-night stand at U.Va.’s John Paul Jones Arena, its charitable arm, the Bama Works Fund, has joined with the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation to hand out more than $620,000 in grants to 81 local non-profits.

Among the recipients: WTJU, U.Va.’s community radio station, which will receive $6,500 to stage a “Battle of the Bands” in April — perhaps launching the career of the next Dave Matthews Band.

Other University-0related recipients of Bama Works grants include the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership ($7,500), The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia ($5,000) and the U.Va. Children’s Hospital ($3,000).

According to WTJU’s grant proposal, it hopes to stage an outdoor music festival to feature the “Battle of the Bands” finalists (as selected by the station’s DJs and listeners), plus a headliner act. The winning bands will be invited to perform live on WTJU.

“Charlottesville and the University of Virginia have long had a rich music scene,” the grant proposal says. It anticipates naming winners in several genres and two ages divisions — under-21 and over-21. “WTJU will do specifically targeted outreach to area high schools and communities of color to encourage a diverse field of entries,” the proposal says.

WTJU general manager Nathan Moore was excited to get the news.

“There’s nothing quite like experiencing live music, and this grant will allow WTJU to bring that experience out into the real world beyond our FM radio listeners,” he said. “WTJU has long supported local musicians on-air, and I’m so excited that we can literally offer a stage for up-and-coming musicians.

“Bama Works certainly has a connection with supporting arts and music for young people. I’m thrilled that they selected WTJU to help carry that torch here in Charlottesville.”

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