John Mellencamp to Receive John Steinbeck Award for Music, Activism

Congrats to singer-songwriter extraordinaire John Mellencamp, who will receive the 2012 John Steinbeck Award for his excellence in songwriting and activism. In addition to his successful music career, Mellencamp is a founding member of Farm Aid, an organization that has used concert performances to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep families on their land since 1985.

Presenting the Award to Mellencamp on Monday, July 30th at the historic California Theatre in San Jose will be Thomas Steinbeck, author and son of the acclaimed author, who believes that “John Mellencamp is a superb singer-songwriter-storyteller [and] an exemplary activist. He has maintained the true spirit of John Steinbeck’s compassion for the worker. Without question, John Mellencamp has earned the John Steinbeck Award, and it will be my great pleasure to present it to him.” In addition to a short conversation moderated by Executive Director of the Grammy Museum Robert Santelli, Mellencamp will give a musical performance in celebration of his achievement.

This will be the first time since Joan Baez received the Steinbeck honor in 2003 that a songwriter has received the prestigious award.