The Curtis Mayfield Scholarship, awarded according to both need and musical merit, is presented annually to an exemplary graduating senior at Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) and Dekalb School of the Arts in Atlanta, both public 4-year fine and performing arts schools for artistically gifted youth. Preference is given to students going on to pursue college majors in performance, composition and songwriting.
This scholarship program honors the memory of the iconic Chicago-born songwriter, musician and producer whose prolific career and legacy includes such hits as “Superfly,” “People Get Ready,” “Move On Up,” “Do Do Wap is Strong in Here,” and “It’s All Right”, as well as the numerous soundtracks he created for film. The socially conscious soul singer’s music still continues to be a source of inspiration to music lovers and musicians worldwide.
Many of Mayfield’s songs, including “Keep On Pushing” and “We’re a Winner,” became cornerstones of the Civil Rights Movement, often sung as freedom songs during marches, freedom rides and protests. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. even named Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” as the Movement’s unofficial anthem.
Mayfield first gained recognition and acclaim as a member of The Impressions in the 1960’s before going on to have a successful decades-long solo career. He won a Grammy Legend Award in 1994 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. He was a two-time Grammy Hall of Fame inductee, as well as a double inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of The Impressions in 1991, and then again in 1999 as a solo artist.
The $3,000 scholarship, in partnership with the Curtis Mayfield Foundation, is presented in the Spring to a student a each school.
By invitation only, no applications accepted.