for the 3-5 minutes

I’m on that stage performing;

everyone in the audience

gets to see

the real Joseph. 


Scholarships and Grants

JMF provides scholarships and grants to help support young people looking to pursue careers in the creative and performing arts. Our main scholarship award is presented to graduating high school seniors, for both the fall and the spring college semesters. The Foundation also awards monetary grants to young adults (18-22) with financial need who are pursuing a career in the creative and performing arts. Award recipients were chosen in early June. See our announcements page for the 2024 winners!

This year the Foundation has added two NEW scholarship awards. The first, the JMF Memorial Scholarship Award which will be given to an African-American student, currently a High School Senior or a student attending college or university pursuing a career in the creative or performing arts. And the JMF Mecklenburg County Scholarship for rising seniors currently attending high schools in Mecklenburg County. See our Scholarship page for more detail and to download the application.


The Foundation previously partnered with No Bully, one of the nation’s leading anti-bullying organizations, and is looking to consider other partnerships.  Suggestions or recommendations are welcome.  Send us an email at

Current Events

Past Events

30 for 30

Saturday, January 14, 2023 – December 31, 2023 “30 for 30” – Joseph’s “30th” Birthday Fundraising Initiative. Joseph should have been and WOULD have been 30 years old this year. With that in mind we want to honor and celebrate him, with our 30 for 30 fundraising initiative. We appreciate your donations in increments of $30 all year long. While the day may be over, the celebration continues… we hope you will remember him with us.

2023 Joe’s Cafe

Joe’s Cafe, Saturday, October 21, 2023 – Events on Graham, Charlotte, NC.

The Joseph M. Fannell Memorial Foundation sponsors and/or contributes to special events which highlight creative ministry, such as spoken word, poetry, mime and other talents and abilities.  To this end, we have created “Joe’s Cafe,” an open mic showcase, where artists are given a platform to perform and display their talents. Our first Cafe was held in Westampton, NJ  in January 2019 in honor of and in celebration of Joseph’s birthday, January 14.

Our first Fall fundraising event of the year was held Saturday, October 21 at Events on Graham in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Special guests included, singer/actor/dancer Melvin Gray, Jr. (recently seen in Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations); Spoken Word artist, singer and author, Chiereme Fortune; and the Exalted Silence Mime Ministry. Platinum on the Sax performed during the hour long reception and comedian Gari “Funk” Fields, joined us as host.

The event was sponsored in part by On Good Ground Christian Fellowship, Jeff Fannell & Associates, Wells Engineering, The Lion of Judah Church of God in Christ and GSE Worldwide Sports. And was also made possible by donations from friends, Phil Bradley, Mary Dunbar and Divine Encounter Church of God in Christ, .

Joe’s Cafe was a part of a year long celebration honoring Joseph’s 30th birthday, with a goal of making $30,000. We are so grateful to announce that with your help we have reached our goal!!!! A big thank you to all who came out to support this event and to all who gave. We couldn’t do this without you. Take a peek of the recap from the Cafe below or feel to view our program.

We plan to host and/or contribute to other Cafe’s throughout the country in the future.


2023 JMF Performing Arts Contest

June, 2023 – October, 2023 JMF Performing Arts Contest for Youth and Young Adults

The Foundation implemented the JMF Performing Arts Competition, where youth and young adults from the ages of 10-22 are allowed to express their talents while competing for cash prizes. This year’s winners received $5,600.

Check out the video below for a look!

Joe’s Cafe

Sunday, January 23, 2022 – Joe’s Cafe – Prerecorded and live performances, open mic style.

29 for 29 Campaign

December 15 – January 1429 for 29 Fundraising Campaign

JMF Youth and Young Adults Performing Arts Competition

June 30 – July 24 – JMF Youth and Young Adults Performing Arts Competition.

The winners of the contest were announced August 12. They were as follows, 10-12, Lily Bradford; 13-16, Sanath Bhavankar (1st place); Laina Ramey (2nd place); 17-22, Te’Zheun Watson (1st place), Thalia Roberts (2nd place), Jasmine Livingston and Sarah Long (3rd place tie). In addition we had some awesome runner ups: Cydney Brown, Cortunay Minor, Nathan Wallace.

Silent Auction

June 2 – June 19, 2021 – JMF Virtual Silent Auction

28 for 28

December, 2020 – January, 2021 – 28 for 28

We are asking $28 for what would have been Joe’s 28th birthday, January 14. This fundraiser will go towards increasing the scholarship assistance and providing additional opportunities for youth and young adults to display their talents.

Youth in the Performing Arts Virtual Competition

November, 2020 – Youth in the Performing Arts Virtual Competition, ages 10-15. Winners were announced December 12. The winners are, (10-12) 1st Place, Savas; 2nd Place, Lily Bradford; 3rd Place, Ayden Katsikis. (13-15) 1st Place, Sanath Bhavankar; 2nd Place, Laina Ramey; 3rd Place, Teresa Marshall.

JMF Youth in the Performing Arts Virtual Competition Finalists (10-12)
JMF Youth in the Performing Arts Virtual Competition Finalists (13-15)

October, 2020 ONGOING – Join with Joe’s Foundation and take a stand against bullying! Through its programs, No Bully’s mission is to eradicate bullying and cyberbullying worldwide.

JMF Spoken Word Contest

July, 2020 – The first JMF Spoken Word Contest for young people, ages 16-22. Winners were announced on August 1st.

First Place Winner, Chevon Guthrie
Second Place Winner, Jasmine Livingston

Joe’s Gospel Cafe

Saturday, January 18, 2020 – “Joe’s Gospel Cafe”  (First talent showcase for youth and young adults in honor of Joseph’s birthday, January 14).

Gospel Cafe

On Friday, July 31st, 2015 the Memorial Fund sponsored its first Gospel Cafe for The Lion of Judah Church of God in Christ, in honor of Joseph.  Below is a video clip of his sister, Brandi, as she shares a poem.

If you are a creative artist or a group/church interested in hosting your own “Joe’s Gospel Cafe” and would like us to sponsor it, please let us know at