Greenhope Community Service Award & Keynote Speaker
Wendy Oxenhorn is the Executive Director of the Jazz Foundation of America, co-founder of Street News and a blues harmonica player. She began her career in the humanities working for a suicide hotline.
In 1990, Oxenhorn co-founded the newspaper STREETNEWS, which provided immediate employment for a homeless workforce. At its peak, STREETNEWS employed more than two thousand homeless men and women in New York City and had a circulation of 250,000. It is credited with being the first homeless-sold newspaper and has inspired as many as 150 like-papers in major cities throughout the world.
In 2000, Oxenhorn became the Executive Director of the Jazz Foundation of America, which provides assistance to elder legendary jazz and blues musicians in need. Oxenhorn along with her Jazz Foundation Family of dedicated staff have been able to assist 3,500 individual musicians and provide support in more than 40,000 moments of crisis, saving the homes and lives of thousands of legends, healing situations with love and dignified creative solutions.
Oxenhorn’s work at the Jazz Foundation included intensive post-Katrina relief efforts. She and her staff of three worked day and night for two years, paying rents and re-housing over 1000 stranded musicians and their families, many with small children. Oxenhorn maintains that of all her accomplishments, the greatest one by far and the hardest was her single parenting.