Sacred Steel Instrument Fund

2001-2002 – Sacred Steel Instrument Fund


The purpose of the Sacred Steel Instrument Fund was to provide a source of instruments to talented musicians, to support the African-American sacred steel guitar musical tradition, and to encourage those musicians to continue the tradition by sharing instruments.

For several years, at the Sacred Steel Convention in Florida, instruments and equipment were donated to deserving musicians. The instruments were originally donated to the Arhoolie Foundation’s Sacred Steel Instrument Fund by various individuals and businesses. A selection committee chose promising players from applicants whom they felt would benefit or be encouraged by receiving an upgraded model guitar, new or used. Fourteen musicians received instruments and equipment from the fund.

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.