Newseum to feature Mary Chapin Carpenter

Friday, April 16, 2010

WASHINGTON — “Freedom Sings,” an evening celebrating the power of free speech in music and honoring the career of Mary Chapin Carpenter, will be presented April 27 at the Newseum in downtown Washington.

Carpenter will receive the “Spirit of Americana” Free Speech in Music Award from the Newseum’s First Amendment Center and the Americana Music Association. The award recognizes artists who have used their work to raise awareness and promote free speech through their music and other efforts. Past recipients include Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, Judy Collins, Charlie Daniels and Steve Earle.

“Freedom Sings” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. ET in the 450-seat Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C.

“Freedom Sings” will include a conversation with Carpenter about her music and career, and will feature guest musical performances by Grammy Award-winning artists Judy Collins and Rodney Crowell.

Tickets for the performance are $25 ($20 for Newseum and Americana Music Association members) and are on sale now at and at the Newseum’s ticket desk.

A very limited number of tickets also are available for $100, for both the “Freedom Sings” program and a private reception with Mary Chapin Carpenter at the Newseum following the program. 

Proceeds support First Amendment education and the work of the Americana Music Association.

“Mary Chapin Carpenter is clearly comfortable in the marketplace of ideas,” said Ken Paulson, president and chief operating officer of the Newseum and the First Amendment Center. “Her career has been one of absolute integrity. She has consistently written and performed songs that take a stand and reflect the human condition, while her activism outside of her art has also effected real change for real people.” Paulson noted that “from early recordings like “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” to the self-reflection of ‘A Place In The World' to the powerful perspective of “Houston” and “On With the Song,” she has used the power of free expression to craft statements of substance and emotion.”

On April 27, Carpenter will release her new album, “The Age of Miracles,” on Zoe/Rounder Records. On Thursday, Aug. 19, at 8 p.m. ET, she will perform at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

“Ms. Carpenter is an artist in the truest sense of the word,” said Americana Music Association Executive Director Jed Hilly. “With her live performance and studio albums, her music has touched and inspired so many. We are honored to bestow this prestigious award on her.”

In addition to her work in music, Carpenter is a dedicated supporter of organizations including Campaign for a Landmine-Free World, Artists Against Hunger and Poverty, Voters for Choice, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation and other groups.

The First Amendment Center, with offices at the Newseum and Vanderbilt University, works to build support for First Amendment freedoms through education, information and entertainment.

The Newseum — a 250,000-square-foot museum of news — offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. Its nonpartisan mission is to champion the First Amendment as the cornerstone of democracy.

The Americana Music Association is a professional non-profit trade organization whose mission is to provide a forum for the advocacy of Americana music. The association produces events throughout the year including the annual Americana Music Festival and Conference in Nashville, Tenn., widely recognized as one of the premier events in the music industry.

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For more information or to arrange interviews:

Jed Hilly, Americana Music Association: 615/386-6936 or
Gene Policinski, First Amendment Center: 615/727-1303 or