PORTLAND, Ore. (June 28, 2018) —KEEN, Inc. (KEEN) designed the Newport sandal 15 years ago with a rubber bumper as a way to protect toes on all-terrain adventures. Now, as budget cuts put school arts programs in jeopardy, the iconic sandal will also help protect music education for communities in need. As a sponsor of the Newport Folk Festival, July 27–29, in Newport, R.I., KEEN has designed a limited-edition Newport sandal and will donate half of the proceeds to Newport Festivals Foundation music education initiatives. The Newport Revival sandal, named for the foundation’s music revival programs in underserved communities, will generate $50 for every pair sold to fund scholarships, instrument donations and afterschool programs.

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“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the Newport Folk Festival. Not only does it share the name and inspiration of our most iconic KEEN product—the Newport sandal—this partnership also aligns with our values of giving back to those in need,” says Tyler LaMotte, chief marketing officer at KEEN. “By working with the Newport Festivals Foundation, we are able to give back to youth in underserved communities with music-related programs that improve lives.”

The Newport Folk Festival was one of the first modern music festivals in the U.S., beginning in 1959 and becoming a venue for voicing support of the Civil Rights Movement. As a valued-led, independently owned outdoor and lifestyle footwear brand, KEEN will continue this tradition of grassroots activation by setting up three call-to-action phone booths for festival attendees to reach out to their elected officials and make their voice heard on issues they care about, including support for school music education funding.

KEEN + Newport Revival

“In the last 10 years, we’ve seen a nationwide trend to cut music and arts program budgets. Despite countless studies showing how music training is essential to educational development, these programs are still seen as dispensable,” says Christopher Capotosto, creative and marketing director for Newport Festivals Foundation, which was founded in 2011 to foster the legacy of its festivals and preserve the deep traditions of Jazz and Folk music. “That’s where we come in—we work with deserving schools and communities to build and support effective music education programs through grants, instrument donations, assembly performances and more.”

What better way to support these on-the-ground initiatives than with the sandal that tackles all terrain? With a classic KEEN design, the Newport Revival sandal features a Newport Folk Festival logo on the black washable polyester webbing upper. With a quick-dry liner for active comfort, rain or shine, and a bold green lace-lock bungee system to provides a custom fit, the water-friendly sandal has a siped, non-marking rubber outsole with a multi-directional lug pattern for grip on slippery boat decks to rocky terrain and everything in between.

The icon of adventure joining forces with the icon of music festivals delivers the ultimate travel companion for those who want to bring more to the experience, by taking action and giving back.

“The fact that KEEN is an independent company that puts doing the right thing over profits is exactly what we think the world needs more of,” says Capotosto. “Together, we are going to encourage, engage and enable communities to improve themselves through music. There’s no better partnership than that in our eyes.”

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The limited-edition Newport Revival (MSRP $100) sandal will be sold on-site at the Newport Folk Festival and at www.keenfootwear.com beginning June 28, 2018.

Please direct KEEN media inquiries to Associate PR Director Greg Fitzsimmons at greg.fitzsimmons@rygr.us.

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About KEEN: Driven by a passion for life outside, KEEN is a values-led, independently owned brand from Portland, Oregon, that’s on a mission to create original and versatile products, improve lives, and inspire outside adventure. Founded in 2003, it launched a revolution in the footwear industry with the introduction of the Newport adventure sandal, and has donated more than $15 million to non-profit organizations and causes around the world to promote responsible outdoor recreation, including conservation efforts to protect open spaces. KEEN strives to show the world through its products and its actions that a business for good can actually be good for business. By giving back, reducing impact, and activating communities and individuals to protect the places where we work and play, KEEN puts its values in motion and takes action to leave the world a better place. Learn more at https://www.keenfootwear.com/our-purpose.html

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