Charles Matlock (Executive Director), a DJ, events and music producer, club DJ instructor, and entertainment attorney, envisioned developing a comprehensive timeline of the history of dance music. This timeline will include significant contributors, songs, nightclubs, DJ’s, songwriters, producers and artists, studios, sound engineers, and other artisans to create an archive for the history of dance music;
Lauren Lowery (Head Archivist), also has a passion for dance music and her background in archiving culturally significant periods in history and creating scholarly review provides the detail oriented skill set needed to achieve the Foundation’s goals.
Michael Winston (Lead researcher and Historian), as a resident DJ at the Powerplant, he was responsible for playing the first House Music recordings as they were introduced to the world. His extensive knowledge of music covers all periods and shifts in the evolution of dance music and coupled with his researching skills, this makes him an invaluable resource to the Foundation and its goals.
Cameron Kelly, is a music researcher who provides current insight into the ever evolving industry of dance music and keeps up with the social media elements which are becoming an ever more important part of the industry.
Several contributing writers and volunteer workers also populate The Foundation’s universe, including Phil Turnipseed (DJ and dance music writer for DJ Times in New York City), Dana Divine (Gospel House Music vocalist and WGCI radio host in Chicago), Michael Copeland (dance music historian in Chicago and former assistant curator of the Whiteman Archive at Williams College in Williamstown, MA), Annette Whitworth (Spertus MSNM in Chicago), J. Alan Love (grant writer and program coordinator for University of Chicago’s Washington Park Arts Incubator), Jacob Arnold (webmaster in Chicago), Andre Pellebon (corporate sponsorship professional in Chicago), Noel Occomy (film maker in Chicago), Eric Miller (two time Grammy Award nominee and filmmaker in Chicago) and Jessica TeRuki (graphic designer in Chicago).
The Foundation believes that dance music deserves critical review and study before any other contributors pass into obscurity and before any other historic recordings and significant artifacts are destroyed. Unless historic recordings from the 1970’s and 1980’s are transferred to a digital medium and the original reel-to-reel recordings are preserved, these recordings will be lost forever.
We believe that the documented evolution of dance music helps connect the current electronic dance music (EDM) scene to its roots from the 1970’s and 80’s. The Foundation’s archiving initiative seeks to document and celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of dance music pioneers and reflect the current state of dance music and show the many different faces and facets of this modern gem which we call dance music.
In sum, the Foundation exists to document and exhibit the rich history of dance music which has served as a universal language for millions.