Founded in 2003 by Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Dallas Austin, the Dallas Austin Foundation for Music Education (DAFME) is a 5Ol (c)(3) tax exempt organization whose focus is youth development through the art of music. We recognize that young people who are exposed to music programs excel academically and are more likely to attend college. DAFME introduces students to the vast opportunities that exist within the music and entertainment industries while incorporating character development and reinforcing academic standards. Since our inception, the foundation has impacted the lives of more than 2,000 students across the Atlanta metropolitan area.
As Georgia continued to cut its arts programs in schools, Dallas saw the need to create a program that allowed students to have a creative outlet in the performance arts, specifically in music. With that in mind, Dallas Austin created “Don’t Stop the Music,” a curriculum-based after-school program that would teach song writing and production to students. DAFME built and equipped small recording studies in local metro Atlanta public schools to house the program.
The Dallas Austin Foundation for Music Education was initially funded solely by funds donated by Dallas Austin. However, as the program has achieved success, it has grown through an annual Gala benefit event and support from corporate sponsors such as The Coca-Cola Company, BMI, SunTrust Banks, and others.
DAFME has established studios at eight high schools in the metro Atlanta area. The foundation also provides scholarships and financial assistance to help further develop and maintain the musical arts and entertainment departments in schools and to raise awareness of the vast opportunities that exist for young people within the entertainment industry.