The Grateful Dead was always known for generosity and the performance of numerous benefits. In the fall of 1983, the Rex Foundation was established as a non-profit charitable organization by members of the Grateful Dead and friends to further this tradition. The Rex Foundation enabled the Grateful Dead to go beyond responding to multiple requests for contributions, and proactively provide extensive community support to creative endeavors in the arts, sciences, and education. The first benefit concerts for the Rex Foundation were held in the spring of 1984 at the Marin Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium. Since 1984 the Rex Foundation has granted $8.9 million to over 1,200 recipients.
On December 7th, The Rex Foundation Benefit included a Keller Williams solo set, Keller Williams with Nicki Bluhm (Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers) and Tim Bluhm (The Mother Hips), Grateful Grass with Keller Williams, Keith Moseley (String Cheese Incident), Michael Kang (String Cheese Incident) and Jeff Austin (of Yonder Mountain String Band), and Mickey Hart joined as a special guest, paying tribute to Nelson Mandela.