John W. Allman of The Tampa Tribune reports that the $60,000 startup funding for the Hillsborough County, Florida chapter of Little Kids Rock — a project which makes free music instruments and instruction available to public school students — came from "Six-String Masterpieces", a 2007 auction and tribute to Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott, the late guitarist of PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN, who was killed onstage in December 2004.A second chapter in Abbott's hometown of Arlington, Texas, also was formed from auction proceeds. The auction, which raised about $215,000, included 65 guitars customized, hand-painted and inscribed by some of the most recognized names in popular music, tattooing and visual arts. Elliott Rubinson, president of Dean Guitars, who worked with Abbott to design a line of custom guitars, sponsored the auction. And Tampa musician Christopher "Curse" Mackey curated the exhibit, taking the guitars on an extended tour of music festivals and events across the country. Rubinson on Friday gave each teacher a new Dean electric guitar. The teachers also received a new Marshall amplifier. "Seeing the reaction from the teachers is just fantastic," he said. Mackey, who has toured with several nationally known bands, said the hard work was worth it to bring such a program here. "Being able to view it first-hand and see it in our own backyard, this was the payoff," he said. Read the entire article at The Tampa Tribune.
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