Fall is the most beautiful time of year where I grew up, in the Missouri Ozarks. The red, orange, and yellow leaves on the trees flame the hills with color, and there’s a hint of wood smoke in the crisp air. The sunlight even looks different this time of year, as we pull boots, flannel shirts and sweaters out of the closet and stock the woodpile for the coming winter.

Fall is a time of contemplation about a year nearly gone. And what a challenge the past two years have been for us all!

With Thanksgiving and year-end letters to our supporters just around the corner, the image that comes to mind is a double-sided copper coin. One side says “gratitude” and the other “generosity.” Our gratitude to you for the grace extended at the time of COVID-related challenges and losses in our community is combined with appreciation for your spirit of generosity. You have shared your love (in our case, the love of bluegrass music) and your gifts, enriching the lives of generations to come.

I hope you enjoy this issue of The Cornerstone, which includes a project grant report from an elementary school and a middle school in Vermont, a report from a young Asian guitar player in California who received an Arnold Shultz Fund grant in 2021, reminders about the December 1 deadline to apply for project grants and the January 31 deadline to apply for Shultz Funds, and more.

In this time of thanksgiving, I’m especially grateful for what you add to the worldwide bluegrass family. As always, thanks for your support of the IBMA Foundation, as we work together to make the future of bluegrass a little brighter—as bright as an Ozark hillside in the fall.

Return to the November 1, 2021 issue of The Cornerstone.