Frontera Collection Project Awarded NEH Grant

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded the Arhoolie Foundation a three-year $265,000 grant to continue our efforts to digitally preserve and create access to the Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Recordings. This generous award will allow us to digitize an additional 24,000 recordings, originally captured on 12,000 45-rpm discs, and deliver them to UCLA to be deposited in the digital library system and added to a searchable online database already available to the public.

The NEH has designated this grant a We The People project. We The People is an NEH program recognizing efforts to encourage and enhance the teaching, study, and understanding of American history, culture, and democratic principles. We are honored by the distinction, and excited by the possibilities this grant creates. Still, we remain in urgent need of support. $66,000 of the total award is matching, which means that in order to receive it we need to raise that same amount from non-federal sources. We welcome ideas as to how we can raise those matching funds, and of course, in the words of our late dear friend Archie Green: All donations gratefully received.

Statement on the passing of Chris Strachwitz

Arhoolie Records Founder
July 1, 1931 – May 5, 2023

We celebrate the life of our founder, friend, and great record man Chris Strachwitz. He died peacefully at home in Marin County, CA, surrounded in his last days by dear friends and family. Over his 91 years, Chris captured the music that represents the best “down home music” the world has to offer.

He was at the forefront of nearly all the roots revivals over the last 60 years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music. His drive to document traditional music helped introduce the nation to our diverse musical heritage. He had the foresight to save music that might have otherwise been lost to obscurity and played a role in strengthening cultural traditions through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation. He cared for those around him, fought for royalties and recognition for Arhoolie artists, and provided counsel to countless musicians, writers, film makers, and academics.

Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced in the coming weeks. Today we’re thinking of all that Chris brought to our lives and the lives of the musicians and fans with whom he shared his passion.