Pew grant supports new zydeco project from Philadelphia’s WXPN

By Ben Mook

Buckwheat Zydeco

WXPN’s new project willl focus on zydeco, a musical genre exemplified by performers such as Buckwheat Zydeco. (Photo: HorsePunchKid, via Wikimedia Commons)

Philadelphia’s WXPN-FM has received a $360,000 grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage for Zydeco Crossroads, a 15-month project that will include concerts, educational events and a documentary film. WXPN will also use grant funds to launch a zydeco-themed website in September.

“The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has made it possible for us to bring leading Zydeco artists to Philadelphia and expose them to a wider audience, which will help foster a broader understanding and appreciation of this unique American music,” said WXPN General Manager Roger LaMay in a statement. “Our project partnerships with Allons Danser, Philly’s home for Zydeco/Cajun music and dance, the Philadelphia Folksong Society, and the African American Museum in Philadelphia will also access additional audiences who connect to Zydeco in distinct ways.”

The documentary will be created by filmmaker Robert Mugge and screened at a culminating weekend festival in fall 2015, according to a Pew release.

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