March 31, 2011

Kennedy Center program to shine on awards show

Featured Image

Darius Rucker, center, shares a moment with Stephanie Adelman and Jimmy Clark at last year’s ACM Lifting Lives Musc Camp at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. (photo courtesy ACM Lifting Lives)

Kennedy Center program to shine on awards show

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center will take center stage in a special performance during the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards Sunday, April 3, at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Country music artist Darius Rucker will join 25 young adults with developmental disabilities for a musical event to benefit the Kennedy Center.

The musical guests are participants in the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp held each summer at the Kennedy Center for people with Williams Syndrome, autism and other disabilities.

ACM Lifting Lives, the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music, sponsored the Kennedy Center's six-year-old music camp for the first time in 2010.

During the awards show, the campers will join Rucker to perform “Music from the Heart,” a song written collectively at the camp last summer with songwriters Brett James and Chris Young. Young, along with country singer Julianne Hough, will reunite with the campers and present the 2011 Lifting Lives moment to viewers.

Viewers will be given the option to donate to the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center by dialing 1-888-9-LIFTING. All proceeds benefit the Kennedy Center's mission and research to improve the lives of persons with developmental disabilities.

Donations may also be made online at or

“The need is huge, as one in five children has a lifelong developmental disability, and 20 percent of American families have a family member with a disability,” said Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., Vanderbilt Kennedy Center director.

“Vanderbilt Kennedy Center researchers, clinicians and educators are at work every day of every week on discoveries and best practices. We're so grateful to ACM Lifting Lives for this moment of great generosity that will allow us to help even more families.”

“People with disabilities often have rare abilities, and in some cases those abilities involve a special talent or affinity for music,” said Rucker. “I am honored to join ACM Lifting Lives and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center to highlight how music can better the lives of young people with developmental disabilities on country music's biggest night.”