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Each year, the Key West Songwriters Festival auctions off guitars signed by all festival artists. Auction proceeds benefit the BMI Foundation, Michelle's Foundation, and CreatiVets. Signed guitars will be auctioned off Thursday night (Cole Swindell at Key West Amphitheater), Saturday night (Duval Street Stage) and through an online raffle! Raffle winner will be chosen and contacted Sunday 5/5.

Purchase raffle tickets here



A nonprofit founded in 1985, the BMI Foundation supports the creation, performance, and study of music through awards, scholarships, grants, and commissions.

Throughout the year, the Foundation works to administer various scholarship competitions, awards, fellowships and commissions. The final selections for these programs are entrusted to panels made up of some of the world's most distinguished artists and musicians, all of whom volunteer their time and knowledge. The focus of these programs is on American music; however, there are several opportunities open to international students.

The Foundation also awards grants on an annual basis to nonprofit music and arts organizations around the country. The Foundation's artistic advisors review and make recommendations for these awards, which range from the support of classical music groups specializing in contemporary works, to musical theatre programs for inner-city youth, to programs designed to preserve and continue such indigenous American music as jazz and blues.

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Michelle's Foundation

Michelle's Foundation was established in honor of Michelle Keevan Halpern to help children achieve their highest potential. 

With an all-volunteer staff, donations to Michelle’s Foundation directly support a number of activities, including:

Michelle’s Willie Wonka Chocolate Festival: Benefiting the Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys, an all-volunteer, grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to helping cancer patients while they are undergoing treatment;

Michelle Keevan Halpern Center for Learning: Providing at risk students in Monroe County, Florida with free tutoring and learning skills;

Michelle Halpern Scholarships: Giving full tuition scholarships to students in need, many of whom are working to support themselves while attending community colleges and state universities; and

Food for Thought: Offering the last meal of the day for students who need more than meals provided through the federally-funded free breakfast and free lunch programs.

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CreatiVets’ goal is to offer opportunities for relief and healing for the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country.  Our purpose is to use various forms of art, including songwritingvisual arts, music, and creative writing, to help disabled veterans cope with service-related trauma (i.e., post-traumatic stress, or PTS) by fostering self-expression in a way that allows them to transform their stories of trauma and struggle into an art form that can inspire and motivate continued healing. Through compassion, we are helping veterans live again.


Creative art forms like those offered by the CreatiVets’ programs have shown tremendous effectiveness in reducing PTS symptoms, reducing the severity of depression that often accompanies PTS, and improving the quality of life for veterans and their family members. Over the last two decades, researchers and clinicians have found the relief and healing provided by expressive writing, music and art is possible because these forms of expression do not necessitate exposure to the facts of the trauma, and also allow the individual to avoid the stigma of receiving mental health treatment.


In modeling the CreatiVets programming, we have structured our sessions in a way that allows the participating veterans to express their thoughts and feelings without having to verbalize or directly confront the trauma. Our artistic outlets focus on creating an environment in which the veteran feels safe, providing an expressive medium that does not threaten that feeling of safety and helping veterans live again in turn.

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