Since 2010, the Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriters Fest has brought the people behind some of country music's biggest hits to Henderson to perform those songs, as well as others they've written, for the purpose of raising money for non-profit organizations and community projects, as well as providing scholarships for Henderson-area students preparing to study music or the arts in college. But, in order to have a chance at receiving those funds/scholarships, those interested in getting them must submit an application for consideration.

Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriter's Fest Now 2023 Accepting Grant Applications

Songwriters who regularly appear at the annual event at the end of July include Tony Arata who wrote "The Dance" for Garth Brooks; Don Sampson who wrote the Brad Paisley hit, "Waitin' on a Woman"; and Jim "Moose" Brown who co-wrote the blue-collar anthem, "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" performed by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet. Performances take place over the course of four nights at Rookies Restaurant on 2nd Street in downtown Henderson as well as just up the street at Hometown Roots on the corner of 2nd and North Main Streets.

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Grant applications are open to organizations that meet the following criteria:

  • Be a non-profit organization primarily serving residents of Henderson County, Kentucky
  • Have a commitment to long-range planning and financial accountability
  • Have a sound plan for your project or program
  • Benefit residents of Henderson County

Applications that will not be accepted include:

  • Those looking to reduce or retire debt
  • Political campaigns
  • Money to cover travel expenses for groups such as bands or sports teams
  • Event sponsorships
  • Annual appeals and membership contributions
  • Those submitted by organizations outside Henderson.

To apply, download the application from the event's website and mail it to the following address:

Sandy Lee Songfest Grant Program
PO Box 651
Henderson, Kentucky 42419-0651

Applications must be submitted by April 1st, 2023 (no joke), with those selected to receive funds being notified by April 30th.

[Source: Sandy Lee Songfest]

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