The Executive Offices of The Ray Charles Foundation are housed at the historic RPM International building. The 11,488 square foot, two story building was built in 1964 by Ray Charles to serve as his creative home and the global center of Ray Charles Enterprises, Inc. The original building design afforded space for offices and a recording studio on the second floor, as well as office tenant space on the first floor.
In 2004, RPM International was officially designated “A Cultural and Historic Landmark” by the City of Los Angeles as well as the now famous corner “Ray Charles Square.” At the ceremony, Mr. Charles was quoted “I love this place, It’s the only home I’ve truly had for most of my professional career and I thank the City of Los Angeles for their efforts to make the studios a special part of Los Angeles history.”
Numerous award-winning, world-renowned artists and albums have been recorded at RPM International. From “Country & Western Meets Rhythm and Blues,” the first album recorded here, to “Genius Loves Company,” Mr. Charles’ final recording. RPM International has been an enduring presence in the life of the man and his music for over four, historic decades.
Designed by Mr. Charles and his longtime manager, Joe Adams, RPM International and its creators remained loyal to the neighborhood, formerly known as Sugar Hill and now known as Harvard Heights.
Throughout the years, the RAY CHARLES FOUNDATION has provided millions of dollars in financial donations to various institutions involved with areas of hearing diseases and cures, as well as other educational resources for the needy and underprivileged. However, Mr. Charles’ legacy extends beyond the Foundation. On what was to be Mr. Charles’ 80th birthday, on September 23, 2010, Los Angeles, CA became home to the first Memorial Library ever dedicated to the legacy and honor of an artist. The RAY CHARLES MEMORIAL LIBRARY opened its door for the first time to celebrate the continuing legacy and genius of Mr. Charles.
Located on the first floor of the RPM International, originally built by Mr. Charles, the RAY CHARLES MEMORIAL LIBRARY is a commemorative venue that preserves and promotes the personal life and professional legacy of Ray Charles. The purpose of “The Ray Charles Memorial Library” is to continue Ray Charles’ legacy by providing an avenue for young children to experience music and art in a way that will inspire their creativity and imagination. Since so many schools do not have adequate budgets for school children to participate in music and art classes, it is the vision of this library to create a platform for school children to tap into their artistic minds and stimulate their senses.