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December 4, 2019

Museum of Pop Culture Honors Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter Brandi Carlile with 2019 Founders Award

Annual Benefit Gala Raised Nearly $1 Million for MoPOP

SEATTLE, WA (December 4, 2019)— On December 3, 2019, the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) presented singer, songwriter, performer, and producer Brandi Carlile with its 13th annual Founders Award, an honor given to artists who have made outstanding contributions to popular music. The award was presented by Alexis Lee, executive director, and Jacob McMurray, director of curatorial, collections and exhibitions, during the museum’s annual fundraiser, which this year has already generated more than $950 thousand.

“Brandi Carlile uses her voice and her creativity to change lives — something we value deeply at MoPOP,” said Executive Director Alexis Lee. “Honoring her while we raised critical funds to advance our mission made for a truly memorable evening.”

“This means everything to me,” said Carlile upon receiving the award. “I might be the only recipient of this award to have busked and asked for money outside the building.”

A tribute concert followed the award presentation with special performances by her collaborators Phil and Tim Hanseroth, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Thunderpussy’s Molly Sides and Whitney Petty, the Indigo Girls, Beth Ditto, Dave Matthews, Ruby Amanfu, and Tanya Tucker.

The celebration serves as the nonprofit museum’s principal fundraiser for youth development programs, access initiatives, community engagement, and world-class exhibitions. These programs were showcased with performances by musicians from MoPOP’s Sound Off! and The Residency, Maiah Wayne, Dreadlight, Celeste Felsheim, Talaya Logan, and the lead singer of last year’s Sound Off! winning group i///u, Katyrose.

Carlile is no stranger to MoPOP. Since its opening in 2000, she has performed numerous times in the museum’s Sky Church and is featured in the museum’s Guitar Gallery. With deep roots in traditional country and folk, her music tackles big issues such as mental illness, addiction, and gun violence. She founded The Looking Out Foundation in 2008 with her bandmates Phil and Tim Hanseroth to empower those without a voice, banding together with fans, nonprofits, and corporations to translate voices of song into voices of action.




Three-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, performer, and producer Brandi Carlile is in the midst of a monumental year following the release of her GRAMMY Award-winning album, “By The Way, I Forgive You.” Produced by Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings and recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, the album includes 10 new songs written by Carlile and longtime collaborators and bandmates Tim and Phil Hanseroth, including “The Joke.” Of her performance of the song on the live GRAMMY broadcast, The New York Times proclaimed, “Carlile’s vocals were robust, ragged, full of sneer and hope. On a night curiously light on impressive singing, it was an uncomplicated, genuine, cleansing thrill.”

Additionally, Carlile — along with fellow members Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, and Natalie Hemby — recently debuted the acclaimed collaborative movement The Highwomen. Released to overwhelming critical praise, the collective’s self-titled debut album came out earlier this summer via Low Country/Sounds Elektra Records. Of the project, Stereogum declares, “The Highwomen are the country supergroup this moment demands…the album is a creative triumph and a meaningful cultural artifact; the joy and resilience emanating off it is worth a fortune,” while Rolling Stone asserts, “a country album for the ages, filled with joy, laughter, tears, pain, and shit-kicking honky-tonk soul.” Adding to her breakthrough year, Carlile also co-produced Tanya Tucker’s critically acclaimed new album “While I’m Livin’” with Shooter Jennings.

Carlile is currently in the midst of a nationwide tour, which included a recent sold-out headline debut at NYC’s legendary Madison Square Garden. Upcoming tour highlights include a special performance of Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” in full at Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 14, as well as six sold-out shows at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in January 2020.

MoPOP is a leading-edge nonprofit museum in Seattle, dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary pop culture. With a mission to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities, MoPOP reaches multigenerational audiences through our collections, exhibitions, and educational programs. At MoPOP, artists, audiences, and ideas converge, bringing understanding, interpretation, and scholarship to the pop culture of our time. For more information, visit


Michael Cole-Schwartz, Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
(206) 262-3245