Welcome to the April issue of The Cornerstone. We’ve got a pile of good news for you in this issue, leading with the announcement of the first ever “Strings for Dreams Bluegrass Raffle,” kicking off on April 1 with the drawing to be livestreamed on the IBMA Foundation Facebook page at noon on May 14.

We’ve also opened up applications for the first IBMA Bluegrass College Scholarship, the Sally Ann Forrester College Scholarship, and the Rick Lang Music Songwriter Scholarship, along with a request for submissions for the Neil Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award.

We’re participating in the 24-hour online fundraiser hosted May 5-6 by our friends at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. We’re sending our congratulations to Chris Reckling, who won the Pisgah Banjo in the raffle held last month to benefit the Arnold Shultz Fund. We’ve got a few more seats open for the bluegrass teacher workshop in Bell Buckle, TN April 17. And we have lots of bluegrass education news to share with you.

At my home office in North Carolina, jonquils, hyacinths, dogwood trees and azaleas are blooming brightly, and I feel like an elephant sat on my left arm because I just had COVID vaccine #2 yesterday. #thankful!

So much has changed in the last year. Twelve months ago, news of the pandemic had just been announced and we had no idea what to expect or how long it would last. Today we’re cautiously optimistic, trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel while still grieving over the deaths of many friends in the bluegrass community. Let’s stay vigilant and hopeful—and, as I wrote in April 2020, please take very good care and stay in touch. Find some socially distanced activities that bring you joy and be sure to shower the people you love with love (to quote that old bluegrasser, James Taylor). All of us at the IBMA Foundation are grateful for your participation and support during this most difficult of years. Now . . . let’s go sell some raffle tickets!

–Nancy Cardwell

RETURN to the April 2021 issue of The Cornerstone.