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Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town Volunteer at ACM Lifting Lives Camp

Little Big Town at the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp. Photo credit: Getty Images/Courtesy of ACM Lifting Lives.

The 2nd Annual ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp is underway in Nashville this week and stars including Little Big Town and Carrie Underwood are lending their time to the program. The camp is open to campers with developmental disabilities who are also talented in music and serves as a study of Williams syndrome and other developmental disabilities. ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy of Country Music, funds the camp, which allows the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities to advance it’s mission of improving the lives of those with developmental disabilities.

On Monday, campers were treated to a songwriting workshop with Gary Allan, Odie Blackmon and Brett James. They crafted a song from concept to final lyrics and will record the song with Carrie and producer Mark Bright. Last year’s song penned by the campers, Chris Young and Brett was performed by campers during the 46th Annual ACM Awards. Later Monday evening, Little Big Town participated in Art N’Music, a session that allowed campers to create Warhol style self-portraits while using music to inspire them.

Tuesday night, Wynonna Judd will join campers for karaoke at a Winner’s Bar and on Friday, the final day of camp, campers will get to perform live with Darius Rucker at the Grand Ole Opry, including a reprise of their ACM Awards performance. They will also share the original song written on Monday (watch a snippet of the songwriting session HERE).

In 2010, ACM Lifting Lives began fully funding what was then called the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Music Camp. Developmental disabilities are a group of physical and mental conditions that includes genetic syndromes and autism spectrum disorders and develop anytime during infancy up to 22 years of age and affects every day life activities such as language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that developmental disabilities affect one in five individuals.

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