President and CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia and former Executive Director of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation

Patricia Wilson Aden named new President & CEO of The Blues Foundation

The Blues Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Patricia Wilson Aden as its next President & CEO. Aden brings more than three decades of non-profit management experience to the Foundation, with a specialization in the preservation and celebration of African American cultural resources. Her most recent experience as President & CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia and her earlier role as Executive Director of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation make her uniquely qualified to lead The Blues Foundation and its Blues Hall of Fame. Ms. Aden will be succeeding Barbara Newman, who will be retiring.

Greetings from Patty Aden

If we are fortunate, there are times in our lives when we experience a confluence of our avocation and our vocation. Becoming the new President of The Blues Foundation offers me a treasured opportunity to merge my passion for the preservation and celebration of African American cultural resources such as blues music with my professional expertise as a leader of non-profit organizations.

Realizing the ambitious mission of The Blues Foundation and our shared vision of the future will require the energetic engagement of the entire blues community. I have appreciated the warm welcome I have received from musicians, blues societies from across the globe, music scholars, industry professionals and fans. I look forward to partnering with all of you as we continue to preserve the heritage of the blues, expand appreciation of the genre, and support the artists who keep the music alive.

I am keenly aware that I am joining The Blues Foundation at a critical moment. The blues community is not isolated from the racial reckoning that has roiled our nation. Together, I hope we will deepen our knowledge of the authentic history of the blues and early blues artists, grow and diversify the audiences who experience our live performances, ensure equity in the opportunities offered to musicians of all backgrounds, and encourage the young artists who will fuel the genre’s ongoing evolution. Our timely response to these and other difficult issues will ensure that The Blues Foundation remains a trusted and relevant resource.

The work ahead will be especially challenging as we attempt to deal with the far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation’s board and staff are committed to finding new and creative ways to present the International Blues Challenge and other programs that bind us as a community while adhering to the safety measures and protocols that will keep us all safe and healthy. With your support, the COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund will continue to serve as a vital lifeline during this unprecedented crisis.

Assuming the leadership of The Blues Foundation is both an awesome opportunity and weighty responsibility. I am indebted to my predecessor, Barbara Newman, who has generously shared her time and insights to ensure a smooth leadership transition. I am committed to building upon her legacy of careful stewardship, even as we stretch toward the promise of new possibilities. I hope you will join me as we embark upon an exciting new era for The Blues Foundation.