The IBMA Foundation supports programs and initiatives fostering the growth of bluegrass music. We help donors create a legacy for future generations of musicians and fans by connecting resources to projects that focus on bluegrass music-related arts and culture, education, literary work, and historic preservation. Join us on FaceBook.

Our patrons

We are so grateful for the support of our patrons. Click here to see the list of our generous donors.

Two types of grants

IBMA Foundation Project Grants- (up to $2000 each) are designed to assist programs that align with the goals of the Foundation. Deadline to apply: December 1. 


Bluegrass in the Schools Mini Grants- Schools or other groups organizing "Bluegrass in the Schools" assemblies should apply for a Mini Grant instead. (generally $300 per school assembly)


To download the appropriate forms for these two types of grants, click on the "Grant" tab at the top of our Home Page.

The work of the Foundation

The IBMA Foundation has proudly supported these worthwhile programs:


Project Grant Recipients:











and dozens of Mini-grants, funding live, educational presentations by bluegrass bands from around the world, at schools.

Annual Grants given in 2012



1. Berklee Society for the Preservation of Traditional Music, dba Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse

Bluegrass Education at the Freight Funds to help pay for bluegrass classes and workshops open to all ages including; Bluegrass Jamming 1, Bluegrass Ensemble and introductory banjo and guitar. In 2012, they offered 48 such classes including two bi-monthly ongoing bluegrass jams in the San Francisco CA area.

For 2013, we proposed a series of at least 30 six-week bluegrass classes and a total of 48 bi-weekly bluegrass jams and workshops, but in fact offered 63 classes and 53 workshops and jams. We also hosted four family Open Houses that featured open jams, student performances, and workshops, all free to attendees. Attendance for these programs was 1,645 – already almost reaching our projected 2013 goal of 1,700.” – Susan Lekkowich, Director of Development

It has been a tremendous honor to hold the Foundation’s grant in memory of our friend and patron Warren Hellman. Located as we are in the wonderfully diverse Bay Area, it is gratifying to help bring bluegrass, one of the treasures of American culture, to a broader audience.” – Sharon Dolan, Executive Director


2. The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail The Crooked Road’s Artist Roster & School Performance Program

The Program brings Bluegrass performers into the schools throughout 19 counties in Southwest Virginia providing high quality and engaging concerts to thousands of students. The Crooked Road works to preserve musical traditions of the region through it’s Traditional Music Education Program (TMEP). Among it’s many initiatives, it includes after school programs where kids learn to play bluegrass and old time music from accomplished musicians.
3. Durango Bluegrass Meltdown Kid’s Program Bluegrass in the Schools & Kid’s Bluegrass Workshops & Jam Sessions

Funds from this grant were matched by private donations to expand their 9 Bluegrass in the Schools presentations to 16, their 1 kid’s bluegrass workshop to 6, and their 1 kid’s Bluegrass jam session to 6. These events were spread out throughout the year in Southwest CO. These events reach approximately 300 youths and 200 adults a year.

“Believe me – the San Juan String Band loves doing the (Durango)Bluegrass in the Schools concerts. [The program] has led, at least partly, to a revival of kids playing in string bands in the schools. It is very exciting and we are happy to be a part of it!” states the San Juan String Band, just one of the local bands who participate in the program.

The Bluegrass in the Schools program has been a part of the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown since [1995]. The program started small with only one band providing bluegrass music at one school, and has since expanded to over a dozen schools and includes participation in a half dozen neighboring communities. The program now reaches over 6,000 youth annually.” – Helen Joline, Durango Bluegrass Meltdown


4. Guitars in the Classroom Reviving Music with Bluegrass Traditions in Clay County Schools

In a economically depressed community in WV where all but one school music program has been eliminated, funds from this grant were used to include all 2,000 students in daily classroom music integration and assemblies involving bluegrass song leading and playing led by GITC trained local bluegrass musicians.