Our Mission

The Chicago Blues Education Foundation (CBEF) is a 501(3)(c) formed with a mission to celebrate, preserve, educate and create access to all aspects of Blues culture through state of the art educational programming and presentations of music genres spawned by the Blues.

By creating and delivering some of the most successful and proven music education programs in the nation, the CBEF objective is to use the Blues and all music genres as an educational gateway to inspiring and cultivating creativity, critical-thinking and self-expression.

The CBEF is devoted to inspiring the next generation of musicians in the schools and in the community. Through its community outreach efforts, CBEF will help play a vital role in providing a positive experience for youth through music education and immersion, creating sustainable and enriching activities for young people.


The CBEF educational commitment will include elementary and secondary learning, college and university academics and adult continuing education. The educational platform—both in and out of the schools, will be designed to connect the music, culture and history of the Blues to American and Chicago history from slavery to the Great Migration and to the Civil Rights movement up until today.


As the Foundation initiates its activities for the 2018-2019 school year, there will be three major components : Blues in the Schools program (BITS) for grades K-12, an oral history project titled “Celebrating Chicago Blues – An Evening with …” (living legends of the blues), and the CBE/Grammy Music Revolution Summer Camp. In following years, additional programs will be added including a teacher advisory board, lecture series and a film series.

At its core, the platform is designed to demonstrate the institution’s firm commitment to education – from elementary and secondary learning, to college and university academics and to adult continuing education–well ahead of its planned opening in Spring 2020. The platform also seeks to place the Chicago Blues Experience onto the city’s cultural landscape, as it will provide free access for all of its citizens to top-notch programs that celebrate the Blues and Chicago’s role in it. Finally, the Chicago Blues Experience Education Platform will reveal to teachers, students, musicians, and the general public how and why the Chicago Blues Experience will be seen as a new and exciting resource for expanded enjoyment of the Blues, illustrating the unparalleled influence it has had on all genres of modern popular music (including Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, Rock ‘n Roll, Hip Hop, and Rap).