The IBMA Foundation recently awarded $24,200 in project grants to 13 bluegrass programs in 10 states. This year’s total for the long-running, flagship program of the IBMA Foundation is up from $14,000 awarded in 2021 and  $21,334 in 2022.

“A diverse list of recipients for 2023 will support bluegrass education for both young people and adults,” said board chair Fred Bartenstein. “We are grateful to donors who continue to support the Foundation. Their generosity has helped to support very deserving programs.” Some of this year’s grants are also sponsored by an earlier generous bequest from Dick Barnhart, a lover of bluegrass music.

Project grants will be awarded to the following recipients:

Appalachian Fiddle and Bluegrass Association, Wind Gap, PA – a historic mural preservation and exhibit at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum

ArtsQuest, Bethlehem, PA – a free educational bluegrass event for the public

Asheville (NC) Symphony Society – Asheville Amadeus Festival, with artist in residence Bela Fleck working with youth orchestra and JAM groups

Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol, TN and VA -“I’ve Endured”: Women in Old-Time Music exhibit

California Bluegrass Association, San Francisco, CA – Supports CBA’s Bluegrass Bridge program which brings bluegrass music to incarcerated individuals to incarcerated individuals at Avenal State Prison and beyond, through live performances, workshop and donated instruments

East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN – String Band Summit

Junior Appalachian Musicians, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and South Carolina – promotion and recruitment for JAM bluegrass programs at schools in five-state region

Louisville (KY) Folk Music School -youth bluegrass summer camp

Miraleste Intermediate School, Huntington Beach, CA – to start a school bluegrass club with supplemental fiddle and banjo instructors

Queen Bee Music Association, Crested Butte, CO, and Santa Fe, NM – Queen Bee’s Kids Bluegrass Camp which focuses on beginning-intermediate players age 7-16, half of whom have never played an instrument before

RVA Bluegrass Jam, Richmond, VA – Marathon Jam April 22, 2023, featuring free educational concerts from local and regional bands with proceeds to benefit veterans through the Fisher House and Liberation Veterans Services

Tryon (NC) Fine Arts Center -Pathways: Sustaining Junior Appalachian Musician involvement at Earl Scruggs Music Festival

Wintergrass Music Festival, Bellevue, WA – Eclectic Styles Youth Orchestra, with a focus this year on bluegrass and Louisiana music interaction and learning

The IBMA Foundation supports programs and initiatives that foster the growth of bluegrass music. The Foundation helps donors create a bluegrass legacy through charitable donations and planned giving through the support of programs focused on bluegrass-related arts and culture, education, literary work, and historic preservation. Information about all grants and scholarships awarded by the IBMA Foundation may be found at For information on how to sponsor one or more IBMA Foundation project grants, contact executive director Nancy Cardwell at (615) 260-4807 or

RETURN to the February 1, 2023 issue of The Cornerstone.

Photo above of the mural in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania by D.E. Johnson