Karla Redding-Andrews is an alumni of Georgia Southern University who regularly returns to Statesboro for homecoming festivities. Additionally, Karla serves on both boards – Macon Arts Alliance and DREAM Academy – where she currently sits as board chairpersons.
Before Aretha Franklin made “Respect” an anthem, Otis Redding first recorded it. Redding was an iconic soul musician renowned for creating some of the most memorable tracks in Black American music history.
Early Life and Education
Karla Redding-Andrews, with her Master’s of Public Relations from Georgia Southern University, oversees daily operations of her father’s foundation whose motto is Progress Through Education-Enlighten Through Music & the Arts. Together with Zelma she also handles requests to use Otis Redding’s name, image or likeness.
She and her family also run the Big “O” Youth Educational Dream Foundation, which educates children about the significance of combining education with music and arts. Programs offered include Otis Music Camp and DREAM Choir.
Culture Sonar had the pleasure of sitting down with Karla Redding-Andrews recently to discuss her father, Otis Redding’s legacy and a newly opened exhibit at Museum on Main in Statesboro called Beyond the Spotlight: Otis Redding’s Family, Music, and Legacy which runs until April 17, 2020.
Karla Redding-Andrews is an advocate of music education combined with music and the arts, serving as executive director of the Otis Redding Foundation to preserve his musical legacy and publishing catalog as well as managing his likeness and image.
The Foundation is an all-volunteer organization that raises funds to assist families and cancer patients with gas, food, medications, wigs and other necessities for everyday living. Since 2006 alone, they have helped more than 2,500 people through this organization!
Before Aretha Franklin made her iconic version of “Respect”, Otis Redding released it in 1965. Now his daughter Karla Redding-Andrews has taken its lyrics and turned them into an educational children’s book called Respect which can be purchased on Amazon.
Achievement and Honors
Karla Redding-Andrews is an accomplished philanthropist and public relations professional who specializes in arts-based initiatives. As Executive Director of the Otis Redding Foundation, she serves on both Georgia Music Foundation board as well as being appointed by Governor Deal to the Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Advisory Commission of Georgia. Additionally she sits on Mill Hill: East Macon Arts Village Steering Committee while sitting on its Board as well as that of Otis Redding Center for Creative Arts Board.
She recently received the 2016 Cultural Award from Macon Arts Alliance and was honored by Women’s International Music Network with their She Rocks Award, joining Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge, Kate Pierson & Cindy Wilson of B-52’s as well as members of pioneer all-female rock band Fanny in receiving this distinction.
“Every great man needs an equally great woman” rings true for Zelma Redding, widow of soul icon Otis Redding. Alongside daughter Karla Redding-Andrews, Zelma has made it her mission to protect the music that made Otis Redding famous while maintaining his legacy.
Otis Redding Foundation of Macon continues to offer music and arts education programs. Redding-Andrews oversees day-to-day operations of the foundation as well as its massive catalog of works featuring her father’s name, image and likeness.
Eboni K Williams of TheGrio’s Eboni K Williams interviewed Karla Redding-Andrews of Otis Redding Foundation about its purpose, her father Otis Redding’s legacy, and how Otis Redding Foundation continues it today. Check out this interview below.
Karla Redding-Andrews is a public relations specialist who combines education, music and the arts into her passion. A graduate from Georgia Southern University with a BA in Public Relations in 1985, Karla serves on its PR Advisory Board today and oversees daily operations of Otis Redding Foundation’s motto “Progress Through Education; Enlightenment through Music and the Arts,” manages Redding’s publishing catalog alongside his mother Zelma as well as requests for use of his name or likeness.
Otis Redding’s charitable endeavors began early on in his career and continued after his death in 1967 when Zelma established the Otis Redding Foundation with its mission being to keep Otis’ timeless music alive and well.