(Nashville, TN) May 5, 2009 – The award-winning CompassionArt charity partners with Family Christian Stores and EMI CMG to announce the CompassionArt: Creating Freedom From Poverty CD/DVD as the first-ever Family Christian Stores Album Of The Year. Officially launching the Album of the Year initiative this month and running through January 2010, Family Christian Stores has pledged to donate through its James Fund foundation $1 for every CompassionArt: Creating Freedom From Poverty CD/DVD sold this year, with an additional $1 for the first 25,000 units sold.
The donated funds will go toward building a Creative Arts Center for Watoto, a charity helping orphaned children to abused mothers, and helping to restore hope to people whose lives have been devastated by suffering. Its Creative Life Centers encourage artistic education and plans for a better future for all (www.watoto.com).
“We at CompassionArt are amazed at what Watoto is doing, and have committed to help build a creative arts center in one of the villages where they look after 1,000 orphaned children, most of whom lost their parents to AIDS-related illnesses,” says Martin Smith, CompassionArt founder and Delirious? frontman. “This is as much a part of God’s healing as food and water; all are essential to feed body, soul and spirit. And Family Christian Stores a tremendous partner with us in this mission.”
“We are excited to partner with CompassionArt and the artists involved,” said Cliff Bartow, President and CEO of Family Christian Stores “This partnership gives us the opportunity to not only help distribute more music to more people, but also to directly make an impact through our donations.”
“The CompassionArt artists and Family Christian Stores, together with our marketing and distribution team, are offering a unique opportunity for people to not only purchase quality music from some of the top artists in our industry, but to get involved in making a profound impact on the lives of others,” says Bill Hearn, EMI CMG President and CEO. “We are thrilled to be a part of helping raise money to help bring hope through Watoto to the orphaned and vulnerable children of Africa.”
Family Christian Stores’ initiative further augments the proceeds that are already being raised by the CD and 50-minute DVD documentary, and its companion book, The Art of Compassion, written by the 12 world-acclaimed CompassionArt songwriters. In an unprecedented effort to engage people everywhere to help end world poverty, all song, artist and author royalties received from these projects will be donated to the poorest of the poor. More information on all 16 of the CompassionArt charitable projects can be found at http://CompassionArt.tv.
The 19 genre-defining songwriters/guest vocalists featured on the 14-song charity album, CompassionArt: Creating Freedom From Poverty, include: (Songwriters) Paul Baloche, Steven Curtis Chapman, Stu G, Israel Houghton, Tim Hughes, Graham Kendrick, Andy Park, Matt Redman, Martin Smith, Michael W. Smith, Chris Tomlin and Darlene Zschech; and (Guest Vocalists) Kirk Franklin, Amy Grant, Joel Houston, Leeland Mooring, Christy Nockels, tobyMac and CeCe Winans. Together, they combine for: 101 million albums sold, 103 No. 1 songs, 36 GRAMMY Awards (including four awards in February), 213 Dove Awards (including 11 awards last month), 18 Stellar Awards, 3 American Music Awards, and 116 CCLI Top 500 songs sung by millions in churches around the world.
In addition to EMI CMG releasing the CompassionArt: Creating Freedom From Poverty CD/DVD in North America in January of this year, the project also released last November in Europe and Scandinavia through Fierce!/Kingsway, Asia, Africa and South America through Integrity and Australia and New Zealand through Crossroads.
CompassionArt, a charity based in Littlehampton, England, held a songwriters’ retreat in January 2008 and began recording songs from the 12 world-acclaimed CompassionArt songwriters a month later for the CompassionArt: Creating Freedom From Poverty album at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London, England, with later recording sessions in Nashville, New York and Los Angeles. The new charity was also recognized by Gospel Music Channel with its “Gospel Angel Award” presented during the network’s telecast of 2008’s Dove Awards. With news about CompassionArt covered by the Associated Press, New York Times, USA Today, Billboard, CNN, FOX News, Reuters, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, MTV.com, MSN, Canadian Press, ChristianMusicToday.com, CCMmagazine.com, Worship Musician, and hundreds of other publications across the U.S. and internationally, more information can be found at http://CompassionArt.tv.
CompassionArt is not associated or affiliated with, or otherwise sponsored or endorsed by, Compassion International, Inc. Compassion® is a registered trademark of Compassion International, Inc.
About Family Christian Stores
Family Christian Stores (www.FamilyChristian.com) is the nation’s largest Christian retailer with more than 290 stores in 37 states offering an extensive selection of high-quality products at exceptional value in a family environment. Family Christian Stores locations offer thousands of products including Christian books and Bibles, music, gifts, cards, apparel, children's merchandise and church supplies.
The Family Christian Stores’ James Fund, created upon the biblical principal and scriptural mandate to care for widows and orphans, is a non-profit foundation founded to meet the needs of orphans and widows in the communities it serves. Since its inception in 2003, The James Fund has donated more than 450,000 stuffed animals, and nearly $600,000 to programs in need in the U.S. and abroad. For more about The James Fund, visit www.jamesfund.org.
About EMI CMG Label Group:
Brentwood, Tennessee-based EMI CMG Label Group is comprised of Sparrow Records, Forefront Records, and Credential Recordings, in addition to providing A&R and marketing support for sixstepsrecords via a joint venture and licensing partnership. Balancing freedom, discipline, creativity, profitability and ministry, EMI CMG Label Group strives for excellence in artist development. The Label Group is a division of EMI Christian Music Group. For further information, please visit www.emicmg.com.
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