Barbara Newman is the CEO of the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee. She wants people to understand that blues music is "becoming a global phenomenon" but emphasizes the role Arkansas and the South play in the history of the blues. Newman says, "The King Biscuit Festival is one of the premier blues festivals in the world" and is important to both the past and future of the blues. She considers it one of the roles of the Blues Foundation to help up-and-coming artists connect with mentors.
The Blues Foundation is home to the Blues Music Awards and the International Blues Challenge. They also established the HART Fund, a resource that helps musicians pay medical expenses.