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The Blues Foundation turns to Patricia Wilson Aden

Patricia Wilson Aden, whose background includes having guided the African American Museum in Philadelphia as president/CEO, is headed to Memphis as president/CEO of The Blues Foundation.

“I am genuinely excited to join The Blues Foundation and the Blues community in celebrating the Blues and the artists who have made it America’s original musical genre,” said Aden, who will join the Foundation’s staff on Oct. 1.

Aden brings with her more than three decades of non-profit management experience, with a specialization in the preservation and celebration of African American cultural resources. She also has served as executive director of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation in Philadelphia.

Aden succeeds Barbara Newman, who will begin her retirement September 30th.

Barbara Newman (Courtesy photo)

“On behalf of the global Blues community we wish Barbara Newman the very best for a wonderful retirement and with the greatest appreciation for her tireless dedication to The Blues Foundation as its President & CEO,” said Michael Freeman, chairman of The Blues Foundation’s Board of Directors.

“Thanks to her vision and leadership we are well positioned to welcome Patty Aden as our new President & CEO to continue the forward movement of the organization. We are thrilled to have found such an experienced and well-respected leader and look forward to welcoming her on October 1st.”

Newman is credited with embracing technology to offer greater access to and programming of major Blues Foundation events, including The International Blues Challenge and Blues Music Awards.

The Blues Foundation’s mission is to preserve, celebrate and expand awareness of the Blues genre.  Newman is said to have led the charge to develop a relief fund to provide financial support for basic living necessities to Blues musicians whose income streams evaporated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Blues Foundation, the fund has raised over $250,000 and assisted close to 250 musicians since the first of April.

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