A Brighter Future for Bluegrass

Are you someone who cares about bluegrass music because it’s had a powerful impact on your life? The IBMA Foundation makes it possible for us to work together to support the future of the music we love through philanthropy and planned giving.

The IBMA Foundation helps individuals, organizations, foundations, and corporations work together in supporting the future of bluegrass music. In a nation and a world that is divided in so many ways, music can unite and heal us. Explore this website and learn about the interesting and important ways the IBMA Foundation is working to make a difference, with people just like you. Through grant-making, philanthropy and planned giving, we can make the world a better place by sharing bluegrass with future generations. Come join us!

The IBMA Foundation is proud to announce The Gloria Belle Memorial Scholarship, launched June 1, 2024, with more info HERE  The scholarship will be for students enrolled in a college, tech, or trade school who are also engaged in the bluegrass music community, either as a musician/singer or behind the scenes as a DJ, event producer, graphic designer, videographer, photographer, or luthier. For a donation of $100 or more, you will receive a Gloria Belle Memorial Scholarship T-shirt!

Congratulations to Steven Ware, of Waco, Texas, the lucky winner of a 2011 Golden Era Deering Banjo valued at $4,000, in the fourth annual Strings for Dreams Bluegrass Raffle. The drawing was live streamed from the IBMA Foundation’s Facebook page at noon Eastern Time on Monday, May 13. Over $16,000 was raised in the fundraiser raffle benefiting the IBMA Foundation.  “I just cannot overstate the joy and elation I feel upon having won this beautiful Deering banjo!” Ware said. “I fit the ‘never won anything before guy’ stereotype!”

A banjo player for more than four decades, Steven said he heard the instrument first on “Earl Scruggs’s ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown’ 45 record—not the 1949 version, but still my favorite version back then when I was a kid,” he recalled. “I also heard Earl play on The Beverly Hillbillies television show. I began playing at age 15 with several lessons, and then just picked it up on my own after that.”  READ MORE.

I feel fortunate to have grown up in a time and place where people were so supportive of those playing bluegrass music. Band members and fans became great friends. The IBMA Foundation is helping develop that same kind of music community now and for the future. The Foundation helps connect resources to programs and activities that involve our next generation of musicians. I am glad to partner with the Foundation by being a board member, donor and supporter! The IBMA Foundation is a great place to make a difference.

Ruth McLain

Adjunct professor & Musician, Morehead State University & The McLain Family Band

I know first-hand what great work the IBMA Foundation does because I was a board member for a number of years. There’s not an organization anywhere that makes a bigger investment in the future of bluegrass music by supporting educational programs.

Tim Stafford

guitarist/vocalist/songwriter, Blue Highway

I choose to support the IBMA Foundation—and the Arnold Shultz Fund, in particular—because I believe that it’s important to continue investing in the future of this music and to deliberately cultivate opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color musicians to reclaim ownership over the traditions we hold dear. As a bluegrass educator, I believe that cultural sustainability is paramount, and that means that we need to do everything we can to make sure that bluegrass music is a safe and supportive environment for everyone, not just people who look like me.

The late Travis Stimeling, PhD

Associate Professor of Musicology & Director of WVU Bluegrass and Old-Time Bands, West Virginia University

I’ve been playing bluegrass since I discovered the San Diego Bluegrass Club as a 12-year-old. These days I wear several hats: co-founder of Compass Records, producer and, of course, banjo player. When I was learning to play, there were so many people who went out of their way to help me, from my biggest musical heroes to countless parking lot pickers. The “play it forward” spirit of our community is one of its great treasures and it is a privilege for me to be able to help up-and-coming players. Building community is key to the future of bluegrass music. What better way to do that than to support those who will play the music forward, through the 21st century and beyond?

Alison Brown

Co-Founder, Compass Records

Friend of the Foundation



Join the street team working together to create a brighter future for bluegrass.

Anyone willing to share information with friends and colleagues about IBMA Foundation-hosted scholarships, grants, and programs is WELCOME to sign up as a “Friend of the Foundation” and use the logo above. Fill out the form below to request a free brochure, sticker, and magnet. 

Please display the Friend of the Foundation logo on your websites, social media pages, marketing messages, liner notes, and fliers.

The Friends of the Foundation group is open to all individuals, companies, and organizations interested in helping bluegrass music grow, sharing it with future generations and new audiences around the world. CLICK HERE to read about ways you could help as a Friend of the Foundation.

Click Here to be a Friend of the Foundation

The IBMA Foundation
1183 University Drive #105-215
Burlington, NC 27215