For the past three years, the Pisgah Banjo Company of Fairview, North Carolina, has conducted a fundraising raffle to benefit the IBMA Foundation’s Arnold Shultz Fund. A total of $29,590 was raised in 2023, with $10,000 designated for Black Banjo Reclamation Project programs. The Arnold Shultz Fund encourages participation by people of color in bluegrass music.

“We chose to support the Arnold Shultz Fund to help do our part in spreading the awareness of all the contributions and influence people of color have made on traditional music, especially when it comes to the banjo,” Pisgah Banjo owner and senior luthier Patrick David Sawyer said. “We want to give back to these communities who are making a difference and helping to change stereotypes and create a more inclusive culture in the bluegrass and old-time communities”

Patrick recently shared a video that allows viewers to take a tour through the Pisgah Banjo Company shop. “When filmmaker Cheyne Lempe wrote to me four years ago asking to shoot a short film on Pisgah Banjos, I had no idea what to expect or the journey this project would put us on,” he said. “After working on films such as National Geographic’s Academy Award winning film  Free Solo and directing Patagonia sponsored filmStone Locals, I had no doubt that Cheyne would deliver something epic and meaningful and give our company a candid voice as to what our mission is all about. Being an accomplished banjo player himself, Cheyne was able to fully capture what Pisgah Banjos stands for and why we do what we do. I hope you enjoy the video!”

Pisgah Banjos are made in the USA from 100% native Appalachian hardwood in a solar powered shop.

Return to the May 2023 issue of The Cornerstone: