Applications for Arnold Shultz Fund grants are due January 31, 2024. Click here to download the application. Please check out the video here.
The Fund awarded a total of almost $29,000 in grants in 2023 for 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.
Arnold Shultz Fund grants were awarded to ten programs and individuals in the last year:
Dancing with the Spirit (Fairbanks, AK): assistant instructor training and travel for young native Alaskan musicians
Decolonizing the Music Room (Ft. Worth, TX): African American Roots Music Festival
Elephant Grass Musical Chairs Bluegrass Band (Nairobi, Kenya): series of educational bluegrass programs at high schools
Grassy Strings (West Bengal, India): travel grant to bring the first bluegrass band from India to the international outreach program at the La Roche Bluegrass Festival in France
Jam Pak Blues ‘N’ Grass Neighborhood Band (Chandler, AZ): scholarship for Jam Pak member Gieselle Lacy to attend IBMA’s Leadership Bluegrass in Nashville, TN
Jam Pak Blues ‘N’ Grass Neighborhood Band (Chandler, AZ): summer bluegrass camp
Montgomery Museum of Art & History (Christiansburg, VA): Cultural Crossroads in Traditional Music concert program, planned for 2023 and rescheduled for 2024
Lamont Pearley (Bowling Green, KY): funding for lessons from Kentucky banjo teacher Jordan Riehm, culminating in a performance in tribute to Arnold Shultz
Azere Wilson (San Luis Obispo, CA): funding assistance for debut album: The Rock the Root the Lean on Me, a culmination of her research on traditional Black music, African American spirituals, bluegrass music, and the blues.
Individual Shultz Fund grants were also awarded to Oscar Mbwana in Nairobi, Kenya, for instrument repair, and for bluegrass lessons for a person of color at the Louisville Folk School in Kentucky, plus a special grant to the Black Banjo Reclamation Project in California from a fundraiser raffle conducted by the Pisgah Banjo Company.
Arnold Shultz (1886-1931) was an African American musician from western Kentucky. Shultz, best known as an extraordinary guitarist and fiddle player, 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 Shultz’s 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. Arnold Shultz was a mentor to Bill Monroe, who also credited Shultz with influencing his approach to playing music.
For more info, go to https://bluegrassfoundation.org/arnold-shultz-fund/, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (615) 260-4807.
RETURN to the January 2024 issue of The Cornerstone.
Photo above: Black Banjo Reclamation Project workshop in Nashville, 2023