The IBMA Foundation’s Arnold Shultz Fund supports activities that increase participation in bluegrass music by people of color. People of color are people with racial/ethnic backgrounds that are underrepresented in bluegrass: Black, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Indigenous First People, Indigenous Pacific Islander, etc.

Applicants may be individuals, schools, groups, organizations, or government entities. Priority will be given to programs, activities, or individuals that demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity and serving diverse, underrepresented populations in bluegrass music.

In 2022 the Foundation awarded a total of $33,662 in Arnold Shultz Fund project grants to programs and individuals in Alaska, Arizona, California, China, Hawaii, Kenya (see article below), and North Carolina. The Arnold Shultz Fund was established in 2020. Arnold Shultz (1886 – 1931) was an African American musician from western Kentucky and a mentor to Bill Monroe, who credited Shultz with influencing his approach to playing music. Best known as an extraordinary guitarist and fiddle player, Shultz often played guitar with Bill Monroe’s fiddle-playing uncle, Pendleton (“Pen”) Vandiver. It was at these gigs that Monroe met Arnold Shultz and began to emulate his backup guitar style. Shultz was impressed enough with Monroe’s progress that he hired Monroe to play guitar with him at dances, thereby giving Monroe his first professional music jobs.

Click here to download the application for Arnold Shultz Fund grants, Email, or call (615) 260-4807 for more info.

RETUTN to the December, 2022 issue of The Cornerstone.

Photo above: Dom Flemons and Shultz’s Dream present a musical tribute to Arnold Shultlz at IBMA’s Bluegrass LIVE! festival October 1, 2022, in Raleigh, NC. (photo by Daniel Schram)