The festival's growth has allowed the foundation to provide $500,000 in grants each year to other nonprofit organizations supporting the arts, as well as to writers, artists, photographers, filmmakers and education programs.
"I haven't seen another model like this anywhere," Marshall said. "This festival has grown to the point where we're able to generate revenue that allows us to establish free music education programs, housing initiatives and lecture series. One of the best things we do is the grant program."
Before Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Marshall said, the foundation offered roughly $100,000 in grant money every other year. But with the need for music and cultural redevelopment so strong after the storm, the foundation restructured its grant program to make more money available.
"We're really committed to keeping the culture alive, and we believe helping musicians and all artists is pivotal in making that happen," Marshall said.
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