On tour in New Orleans with her band The Gaslights, Abigail Henderson began experiencing abdominal pain. Packing only a copy of one of the band’s albums, she visited the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic, a comprehensive health services provider for working musicians without health insurance. Abby was diagnosed with a hernia and received treatment instructions she could rely on throughout the remainder of the tour.
Feeling gratitude for care she received in New Orleans, Abby returned with the vision to create a healthcare coalition for her fellow musicians at home in Kansas City.
Her plans stalled when she was diagnosed with Stage III inflammatory breast cancer. The Kansas City music community came to her aid through a benefit concert in 2008—Apocalypse Meow—which gave Abby and her husband and bandmate Chris Meck a platform on which to establish a coalition, now known as the Midwest Music Foundation.
In August of 2013, Abby passed away at age 36 after a long, hard-fought battle with cancer. Her passion for music is the deepest inspiration for MMF, which continues to provide musicians with opportunities for career development. Abby’s Fund for Musicians’ Health Care was established in her memory, and dispenses funds to area musicians in need of emergency medical care.
Midwest Music Foundation unites and empowers the Kansas City area music community by providing health care assistance, education and career development, events and resources.
Midwest Music Foundation creates a vibrant and diverse music culture in the Kansas City region. As a result, a thriving artistic economy will include:
- Expanding music
- Strengthening musician’s health
- Advancing prosperous career opportunities
The first Apocalypse Meow benefit concert was held in November 2008. Midwest Music Foundation was founded by Abigail Henderson and her husband Chris Meck, and their friends and supporters Jenni McSpadden, Angela Lupton and Mary C. Taylor in 2009. The foundation received official status and the first MidCoast Takeover music showcase went to Austin, TX in 2010.
For financial disclosure records and more information, please visit our nonprofit profile at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.