After a strong year of support from donors (see IBMA Foundation Year-End Report elsewhere in the October 5, 2021 issue of The Cornerstone, the Foundation is able to raise Bluegrass in the Schools Mini-grants from $300 to $500. Do you have a band that enjoys presenting bluegrass programs for young people, or are you affiliated with a school, library, or other organization that might be interested in presenting a bluegrass program? If so, please consider applying this year!

Mini-grants, which may be applied for year round, are for schools or other groups organizing educational bluegrass presentations for young people (K-12 and college). Bluegrass in the Schools Mini-grants are made possible in part by a bequest from Richard Barnhart.

Live band demonstrations are encouraged, along with a brief overview of the history and pioneers of bluegrass music, the instruments used and their role in a band, the vocal harmony structure used in bluegrass music, and bluegrass music today. For more information on IBMA Foundation Mini-grants and to download an application form, click here.

The IBMA Foundation funds 10 Bluegrass in the Schools Mini-grants a year. Our most recent recipients include the following:

  • During World of Bluegrass Week in Raleigh, North Carolina, Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, and Fair Black Rose presented bluegrass programs at three local elementary schools. Paisley’s band presented bluegrass to 145 fourth graders at Scotts Ridge Elementary in nearby Apex. Mullins and his band went to Baileywick Road Elementary in Raleigh to perform for and teach 175 students in grades three to five. Fair Black Rose, from Chandler, Arizona, presented a program for 200 third – fifth graders at Underwood Elementary in Raleigh. These presentations were organized by the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County
  • On September 16 the Creek Bend bluegrass band presented a live educational program for 100 students, grades K – 5, at Heritage Heights Elementary School in Amherst, New York. During a 20-minute intermission, band members hosted a supervised “instrument petting zoo” with four guitars tuned to open G, four banjos, and a bass, for interested students to hold and play a one-chord song.
  • On April 9, 2021, Liam Purcell and Cane Mill Road presented a bluegrass program for 50 students, grades 1-5, at the Wade Center in Bluefield, West Virginia, where an outdoor after-school program for low-income elementary school children and their families was organized.

Our gratitude is extended to the organizations and bands who worked together to share bluegrass music with young people in North Carolina, New York, and West Virginia. Please help the Foundation spread the word about Bluegrass in the Schools Mini-grants!

Photo: The members of Creek Bend present a bluegrass education program for 100 students, grades K-5, in Amherst, NY.

Return to the October 5, 2021 issue of The Cornerstone.