MusiCares Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1989 and incorporated in 1993 by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Meant for musicians to have a place to turn in times of financial, personal, or medical crisis, its primary purpose is to focus the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues which directly impact the health and welfare of the music community. The foundation's programs include emergency financial assistance, addiction recovery, outreach and leadership activities, and senior housing. MusiCares also offers hearing clinics backstage at several major festivals around the U.S. to help musicians protect their ears. Since 1989, MusiCares has distributed more than $48 million to artists in need.
In September 2004, MusiCares acquired the Musicians Assistance Program, a similar program assisting musicians in need, including drug rehabilitation.
MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert
To help raise funding for the program, a MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert is held annually since 2005. Among the awards given at the event is the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award, named after the late guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, which recognizes musicians for their devotion to helping other addicts struggling with the recovery process.
Founded by longtime musician and addiction recovery activist Buddy Arnold, the event was originally called Musicians' Assistance Program (MAP) Awards.Eric Clapton was honored with the Musicians' Assistance Program's (MAP) first Stevie Ray Vaughan Award on November 2, 1999. In 2004, MusiCares acquired MAP and merged the two programs under the MusiCares banner.
The MusiCares From the Heart Award is given to artists for their unconditional friendship and dedication to the mission and goals of the organization during the MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert. The first recipient was Goldenvoice in memory of Rick Van Santen.