Happy New Year to friends of the IBMA Foundation across the country and around the world! I couldn’t be happier to be kicking off 2024 with you. Our shared passion for bluegrass music and the positive effect it has on our lives inspire us to work even harder together to support programs and initiatives that foster the growth of bluegrass. Thanks so much for helping the Foundation to make that happen in 2023! Here are a few of the things you helped to accomplish:
$24,200 in project grants awarded to programs in California, Colorado, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington
$151,000+ to projects in 27 states and 2 countries outside the U.S. since 2011
$5,400 in Bluegrass in the Schools mini-grants sent to Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, and Tennessee (Thanks to our 2023 sponsor, Timothy Connell, who has agreed to sponsor this important effort again in 2024!)
$39,000+ awarded in BGIS Mini-grants since 2011
Sally Ann Forrester College Scholarship and the Rick Lang Music Songwriting Scholarship awarded to Lucy Baker at Morehead State University in Kentucky. Rick Lang, who founded the scholarship along with his wife, Wendy, has just co-written a Christmas song with Ms. Baker as a part of her award!
IBMA Bluegrass College Scholarship awarded to Liam Purcell at Berklee College of Music
Katy Daley Broadcast Media & Sound Engineering Scholarship awarded to Alaina Majkrzak at East Tennessee State University. Many thanks to Katy Daley and Bill Brown, veteran broadcasters/podcasters in the D.C. area, who founded this scholarship and continue to fund it.
J. D. Crowe Banjo Scholarship, created by the Arthur Hancock (III and IV) family in Kentucky, awarded to Jack Rehbeck, at Denison University in Ohio
A new scholarship to honor the memory of Gloria Belle Flickinger is in the works, created by Foundation board member Becky Buller.
The Neil Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award, sponsored in 2023 by Jon Weisberger and Trisha & John Tubbs, was awarded to Cade Botts, a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His thesis is titled “Bluegrass: A Voicing.”
Fletcher Bright Memorial Fund for Young Musicians (established by members of the Bright family—Fred Bright, George Bright, Lucy Bright Griffin, Lizzer Bright Ingram—plus Tom Brown, and Barbara Martin Stephens) awarded several grants to assist musicians aged 21 and younger with the expense of bluegrass camps and lessons. In 2022-23 grants were given to Bayla and Judah Davis, Raelee Deaton, Sophia DiChiara, Alice Gould, Maxwell Klett, Jessica Lang, Rosy Lopez, Sam Mougin, Carlos Parra, Lucy Tanyi, Joshua Willis, and Alasya Zeweldi. Our grateful thanks also go to Billy Strings and Sam Blumenthal for helping to fund this important grant program in 2023!
The Eppes-Jefferson Foundation contributed funds to create a series of educational videos called “Bluegrass Stagecraft 101.” The project has been very successful, and videos may be seen on the IBMA Foundation YouTube channel or website (Bluegrassfoundation.org). In November 2023 “Emcee Masterclass,” moderated by Katy Daley and featuring Sherry Boyd, Dudley Connell, and Chris Jones, was presented as a free webinar on Zoom, in collaboration with the Leadership Bluegrass alumni group. The session was edited and posted on YouTube and the Foundation website, for those unable to attend the full-house, 100-seat webinar.
The Arnold Shultz Fund awarded $28,935 to programs and individuals in Alaska, Arizona, California, Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, India, and Kenya. An additional $10,000 from the Pisgah Banjo raffle was granted to the Black Banjo Reclamation Project to help fund banjo building workshops.
A total of $141,767 has been raised for the Arnold Shultz Fund since its inception in 2020.
The third annual Strings for Dreams Bluegrass Raffle raised $20,954. Jayson Clark, from the Buffalo, New York area, was the lucky winner of the 1967 D-35 Martin guitar donated by Fred Bartenstein. World renowned boot maker Lisa Sorrell donated a pair of Louvin Brothers tribute custom cowboy boots featuring the iconic Satan is Real album cover design. The person with the winning ticket, Erin Webb, donated the prize back to the Foundation to be raffled off a second time in February 2024. Stay tuned to Bluegrassfoundation.org/raffle/ in February and Stringsfordreams.com in April, for more news!
At World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC, the Foundation staffed an expo hall booth, hosted the Bluegrass College Band Showcase featuring 13 bands at the IBMA Bluegrass LIVE Festival, presented a Bluegrass College Info Session, funded bluegrass at local elementary schools, hosted a reception for scholarship and grant recipients, and held the annual Bluegrass Educators Luncheon.
We know you love bluegrass. You would like to see a way for it to go on forever. Together, we have a way you can do that! For info on how you can get involved, go to Bluegrassfoundation.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (615) 260-4807.
Nancy Cardwell, IBMA Foundation Executive Director 1/1/2024
Return to the January 2024 issue of The Cornerstone.