Dolly Parton's Swarowski Crystal-studded Dulcimer Among Items for Covid Response Fund Auction

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ACM Lifting Lives is holding an online charity auction of items donated by country music stars, including Dolly Parton's highly valued Swarowski crystal-studded dulcimer, to benefit its COVID-19 Response Fund.

“We are immensely grateful to the artists in the Nashville community and beyond who have generously donated items for this auction in collaboration with Christie’s," said ACM Lifting Lives executive director Lyndsay Cruz in a statement.

The launch date for Nashville: An Auction to benefit ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund has not yet been announced but Christie's has a "be the first to know" alert.

"Every winning bid will go towards our COVID-19 Response Fund to support the workers of our country music community: the tour bus drivers, aspiring musicians, techs and venue workers – so many of whom have lost their livelihoods overnight during the course of this pandemic." She added that $1.5 million has been distributed to date.

ACM Lifting Lives, the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music, is dedicated to improving lives through the power of music. It funds music health programs while serving members of the music community who face unexpected hardships through its Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund.

ACM Lifting Lives has funded national music therapy programs serving various mental and physical health organizations. Recipients have included patients at children’s hospitals and other healthcare facilities, recovering veterans, people with Williams syndrome, and individuals with mental illness.

The COVID-19 Response Fund supports workers of the country music community, including tour bus drivers, aspiring musicians, techs and venue workers who lost their livelihoods overnight during the course of the pandemic. The fund has distributed $1.5 million (all figures in U.S. dollars) so far.

While Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Marty Stuart, Bernie Taupin and Trisha Yearwood are among those who’ve donated items to the auction, which is being carried out by Christie’s, the signature item is a Swarovski crystal-bedazzled, gold-painted, four-string dulcimer owned by Dolly Parton for 30 years.

The instrument is the first to be included in a global auction by Parton. It’s accompanied by its original stand and has an estimated value of between $50,000 and $100,000.  "Seeing my country music community suffer due to the pandemic has broken my heart," Parton said in a statement.  "It was important to donate the dulcimer that was designed for my 50th Opry Anniversary so we can raise awareness and much needed funds to keep these folks on their feet before we can open the doors to our stages once again.”

Auction dates and additional lots for Nashville: An Auction to benefit ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund will be announced soon on its website. Christie’s offers approximately 350 auctions annually, and its 2019 sales totalled $5.8 billion.

The auction was mentioned during the broadcast of the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards show that was hosted by Keith Urban on Sept. 16.

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