Maryville commits $100,000 over two years for nonprofit founded by Owens


NASHVILLE, TN (November 27, 2018) – Acclaimed soul singer, songwriter, producer and community advocate Brian Owens is pleased to announce that L.I.F.E. Arts (Leadership, Innovation, Faith, Entrepreneurship) has been selected to receive $100,000 from Maryville University over the next two years.

The partnership between L.I.F.E. Arts and Maryville University will enable various initiatives of the organization to come to life, including Compositions For L.I.F.E Therapeutic Songwriting. The songwriting program fosters positive expression through music for junior high students (ages 11-14) whose daily experiences include a range of traumas involving poverty and violence. The grant will also support one undergraduate fellowship or graduate assistantship for a minority music therapy student as well as enable L.I.F.E. to pilot and implement an E Sports For Life program.

Launched by Owens in 2014 in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting, L.I.F.E. Arts is dedicated to helping develop leadership skills through the arts, using therapeutic methods to focus on the student’s mental and emotional well-being. Each year the foundation serves between 70 to 100 high school and college students in Owens’ hometown of Ferguson, MO and from across the St. Louis metropolitan area.

“Maryville is honored to support the LIFE arts initiative and all the amazing work that it will do now and in the future,” said Maryville University’s president, Mark Lombardi, PhD. “There is no better way to make a profound difference in St. Louis than to invest in the educational opportunities of our youth.”

“On behalf of L.I.F.E. Arts, I am humbled and overwhelmed by God’s favor and the generous commitment of Dr. Lombardi and Maryville University,” adds Owens. “They have been a valuable partner since our beginning. We look forward to the continued development of our relationship as we partner in service to the students and families in North County and our region at large.”

Maryville’s grant reflects the growing support of businesses and individuals for Owens’s mission. Similar generosity was shown in September, when St. Louis-based M1 Bank, in partnership with L.I.F.E. Arts, donated a 17,000 sq. ft. building located in North County that will support this growing organization year-round.

Owens’ most recent album SOUL OF CASH was released worldwide in 2017. The critically acclaimed project celebrates the universal message of Johnny Cash and his timeless music, re-imagined in Owens’ own signature soulful style.

Owens will soon begin recording a new album set for release in 2019. The new project is being produced by acclaimed producer Brian Bacchus at the Royal Studios in Memphis where the incomparable Al Green recorded all of his hits. For more of the latest news about new music and live shows, visit


Brian Owens is an accomplished soul singer, songwriter and producer who has earned a reputation as one of the most promising talents on today’s music scene. He has shared the stage with many notable performers including Ramsey Lewis and Michael McDonald, and has made numerous national television appearances including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Entertainment Tonight, FOX & Friends, and more. He has also performed at the White House, the World Series, and New York’s prestigious Apollo Theater, among others. As the lead vocalist for three years with the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America, Owens expanded his repertoire and perfected his unique signature style. As a solo artist, Owens has release four national recording albums, including his latest, SOUL OF CASH. A longtime resident of Ferguson, MO, Owens has a tireless commitment to mentoring young people in his community to help develop their leadership potential. As founder and Executive Director of L.I.F.E. Arts, Owens also serves as Community Music Artist in Residence with the E Desmond Lee Fine Arts Collaborative at the University of Missouri St. Louis, where he holds a B.A. degree in Music. Owens and his wife Amanda have seven children. For more information, visit


L.I.F.E. Arts (Leadership, Innovation, Faith, Entrepreneurship) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that provides artistic resources, opportunities, mentoring and positive experiences to help students develop the qualities and skills they need to live up to their God-given potential. They believe that through leadership skills and discipline of the arts, the youth of St. Louis can be a driving force, modeling the change that we all so desperately desire to see manifest. In order to achieve this goal it is of the utmost importance that students living in under-served communities have access to consistent and localized programs, experiences and infrastructure. For more information, visit


Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a comprehensive and nationally ranked private institution with an enrollment of more than 9,200 students. Maryville offers more than 90 degree programs at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels to students from 50 states and 55 countries. For more information, visit