IBMA Foundation 2021-2022 Year End Report

You love bluegrass. You would like to see bluegrass live forever. We have a way you can do that…

We’ve had a strong year at the IBMA Foundation. Over 700 supporters shared in our work, with contributions totaling $203,184. In a season of continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic challenges, we are more grateful than ever for those who choose to help us build a brighter future for bluegrass.

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

Financial Summary: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022

Statement of Financial Position, June 30, 2022: Total assets: $410,808 (includes $206,472 in agency endowment funds at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, plus $71,464 in Vanguard investments). We gained $74,050 in assets during the past year, up from assets of $336,758 in 2021,  $225,572 in 2020, and $189,165 in 2019. Since the beginning of the IBMA Foundation (formerly known as the Foundation for Bluegrass Music), over $300,000 has been awarded in scholarships and grants!

Statement of Financial Activity: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022


July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022 Statement of Financial Activity: 


Donations from individuals
Donations from foundations
Donations from Corporations
In-kind donations
Investment income
Misc. income
(includes 22,325 raffle)
Total income

Grants, Scholarships, and Program Expenses

Project grants
2Bluegrass in the Schools Miini-grants
IBMA Bluegrass College Scholarship
Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award

Sally Ann Forrester Scholarships
Rick Lang Music Songwriter Scholarship
Crandall Creek College Scholarship
Arnold Shultz Fund grants
Fletcher Bright Memorial Grants
Other grants
Program Expense
Total grants, scholarships and programs:
(includes 5,395 raffle expenses)


July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022 Statement of Financial Activity: 


(includes 22,325 raffle)

Grants, Scholarships, and Program Expenses


(includes 5,395 raffle expenses)



At June 30, 2022, IBMA Foundation agency endowment funds at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee totalled 206,472 ($49,706 of that is unrestricted). Our Vanguard unrestricted investment fund was at $71,464.

Restricted Funds: At June 30, 2022, restricted fund balances included: Arnold Shultz Fund ($58,454), Rick Lang Songwriter Scholarship Fund ($45,973), Richard Barnhart Memorial Fund ($27,722), Fletcher Bright Memorial Fund for Young Musicians ($27,535), Sally Ann Forrester Scholarship Fund ($21,706),
J. D. Crowe Banjo Scholarship Fund ($17,878), IBMA Scholarship Fund ($16,338); Katy Daley Media & Sound Engineering Scholarship Fund ($11,843), Bluegrass Stagecraft 101 Fund ($5,000), and Neil Rosenberg Scholarship Award Fund: ($200).

Project Grants

 The IBMA Foundation awarded $20,334 in project grants in 2022 to the following groups: 

  • Ashe County Arts Council, Ola Belle Reed Songwriter’s Retreat – West Jefferson, NC
  • Ballard Performing Arts Booster Club, Ballard High School Fiddlers – Seattle, WA
  • Bluegrass Battles Hunger, Artist in Residency – St. Joseph, MO
  • Cabell County Schools, Developing a New Appreciation for Bluegrass Music through Artists in Schools – Huntington, WV
  • Carrizozo Elementary School, American Roots Guitar with Bill Evans—Corrizozo, NM
  • East Tennessee State University, 2022 String Band Summit  – Johnson City, TN
  • Monroe Mandolin Camp, 9th Annual Monroe Mandolin Camp – Abingdon, VA
  • Annie Savage, Free Strings: Join the Jam Bluegrass Module — North Liberty, IA
  • The Earl Scruggs Center, Roots and Strings: The Foundations of Bluegrass – Shelby, NC
    Sisters Folk Festival, Bluegrass Jam Camp – Sisters, OR
  • Tellico Plains Junior Appalachian Musicians – Tellico Plains & Madisonville, TN 

Additional project grant funds were used to support a California Bluegrass Association project to start a bluegrass educational program for inmates at Avenal State Prison.  Since 2011 the IBMA Foundation has awarded more than $127,000 to projects in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Oregon, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the Czech Republic, and Germany.

Students learn to play bluegrass music at the Bluegrass Jam Cimp in Sister, Oregon, funded in part by an IBMA Foundation project grant.

Arnold Shultz Fund grants

The Arnold Shultz Fund, created in June 2020 to encourage participation in bluegrass music by people of color, is co-chaired by Richard Brown and Neil Rosenberg. A raffle held by the Pisgah Banjo Company raised $32,720 to benefit the Arnold Shultz Fund in 2022. A total of $109,217 has been raised for the Arnold Shultz Fund since its inception.

Shultz Fund grants totaling $19,170 were awarded in 2022 to programs and individuals in Alaska, Arizona, California, China, Hawaii, Kenya, and North Carolina. An additional $10,000 from the Pisgah Banjo raffle was granted to the Black Banjo Reclamation Project. Lee Zapis collaborated with Deering Banjos to purchase 10 Goodtime Banjos for a BBRP banjo building retreat in January of 2022. Shultz Funds also provided bluegrass lesson scholarships for people of color last summer at the Louisville Folk School in Louisville, Kentucky. A total of $33,662 in Shultz Fund grants were awarded in 2021-22. 

  • Dancing with the Spirit (Fairbanks, AK): Bluegrass Song Videos & Curriculum for Alaskan Village Schools
  • Jam Pak Blues ‘N’ Grass (Chandler, AZ): Fair Black Rose Band World of Bluegrass CD
  • The Kealakai Center for Pacific Strings (Kailua, HI): Dreadnought Hawai’i – The Royal Hawaiian Roots of America’s Acoustic Heart documentary film
  • Oscar Chilumo Mbwana and Stephanie Waithera Mwaura (Nairobi, Kenya): Zoom lessons
  • The Oakland Public Conservatory of Music (Oakland, CA): Black Banjo & Fiddle Fellowship
  • PineCone (Raleigh, NC): Arnold Shultz Tribute Performance at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass and Documentary Video
  • Eric Shi (Liang Shi) (Zhejiang, China): Educational Bluegrass Videos for China (Eric and students above)

    Eric Shi (Liang Shi),  of Zhejiang, China, pictured center front with some of his guitar and banjo students.


    Since 2011, more than $33,600 has been awarded in mini- grants to help pay bluegrass bands presenting educational, live bluegrass music programs in schools. Bluegrass in the Schools Mini-grants this year funded programs in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Austin Scelzo (front left) is pictured below with high school orchestra students in Connecticut during a bluegrass unit funded in part by a mini-grant.

    Scholarships & Funds

    New college scholarships include the J. D. Crowe Banjo Scholarship, created and funded by Arthur Hancock, his son Arthur Hancock IV (a Foundation board member), and their family.

    Katy Daley, veteran broadcaster and podcast co-host from the D.C. area, created and funded the new Katy Daley Broadcast Media & Sound Engineering Scholarship for individuals focused on radio, television, or engineering studies at college or at other training institutions.

    Students receiving IBMA Foundation scholarships will be attending Berklee College of Music, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Morehead State University, Oberlin Music Conservatory, and the University of North Carolina – Asheville. 

    Gabby Cameron received the 2022 Neil Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award for the presentation of her paper, “The Jewgrass Situation: An Examination of Nefesh Mountain’s Political Message” at the String Band Summit in Johnson City, Tennessee, last April.

    The Fletcher Bright Memorial Fund for Young Musicians was created and funded by members of the Bright family (Lucy Bright Griffin, Lizzer Bright Ingram, George Bright, Fred Bright), Tom Brown, and Barbara Martin Stephens, to help youth age 21 or younger with the expenses of bluegrass camp, workshops, lessons, instruments, and educational materials. The first two grant recipients were brother and sister Bayla and Judah Davis, who attended the Bryan Sutton Guitar Camp and the Bela Fleck Banjo Camp in Brevard, NC. in the summer of 2022.

    The John Hartford Music Festival in Indiana has donated a percentage of 2022 proceeds to the IBMA Foundation in memory of the lifelong friendship of John Hartford and John Hotze, to be used for a future scholarship or grant to be announced next year.

    The Eppes-Jefferson Foundation has contributed $5,000 toward the creation of a new series of educational videos called “Bluegrass Stagecraft 101.” Look for more info on this project, plus one-on-one mentoring opportunities, in early 2023. Areas covered include emceeing a band, emceeing a festival, stage management, and live sound engineering.


    Our free e-newsletter, The Cornerstone comes out monthly. A click-through rate of 49% is high for nonprofit publications. Our YouTube Channel gained a lot of new viewers this year, especially during the April – May promotion period for the Strings for Dreams Bluegrass Raffle, with videos posted from a number of well-known banjo players. We continue to be active on Instagram and Facebook.

    World of Bluegrass

    During World of Bluegrass week in Raleigh, September 2021, the Foundation staffed an expo hall booth, brought back the live Bluegrass College Band Showcase with nine groups participating, and IBMA Executive Director Nancy Cardwell was honored with an IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award.

    Plans are being made now for World of Bluegrass 2022 in Raleigh, with 14 bands featured at the Bluegrass College Band Showcase on the Youth Stage at the IBMA Bluegrass LIVE festival. The Intro to Bluegrass College Programs session will move to Saturday afternoon to increase attendance, and the Bluegrass Educators Luncheon for college educators is planned for Friday. An expo hall booth will be hosted during the entire week.

    The Strings for Dreams Bluegrass Raffle

    The second Strings for Dreams Bluegrass Raffle raised $22,325. Longtime Foundation supporters Richard Spratt and Fred Bartenstein donated the prize instruments for the 2022 and 2023 raffles, at a combined value of over $9,000. Kenyon Young of Las Vegas, NV, was the lucky winner of the prize Huber banjo in 2022.

    Nick Khadder, a mandolin player from Alameda, California, was the lucky winner of the Strings for Dreams Bluegrass Raffle grand prize, a carbon fiber Z Mandolin and a custom Calton Case. He’s pictured here with his daughter, Lucy. 

    New Donors

    New donors have made contributions to the Foundation from family estates. Others have made gifts of stocks or have notified us that they have included the Foundation in their wills. We took part in the “Giving Tuesday” in November, and we benefited from a collaborative fundraising effort with our sister organizations, IBMA and the IBMA Trust Fund.

    Board Members

    IBMA Foundation Board members include Fred Bartenstein, (Chair/ President); Alan Tompkins, Bluegrass Heritage Foundation (Vice Chair); Ruth McLain, McLain Family Band, Morehead State University  (Secretary); Wendy Tyner, Wintergrass/ Acoustic Sound (Treasurer); Kissy Black, Lotos Nile; Sam Blumenthal, Sam Blumenthal Foundation; Dr. Richard Brown, Harvard University, the Reunion Band; Becky Buller, The Becky Buller Band; Michael Hall, the Northern California Bluegrass Music Society; Arthur Hancock, Wolfpen Branch; Pat Morris, executive director of IBMA; Dr. Peter Salovey, Yale University; Trisha Tubbs; Michael Webb, University of Tennessee; and Lilian Werbin, Elderly Instruments.


    Our committees work in the areas of Finance, Nominating, Marketing/Communications, Mini-Grant Review, Project Grant Review, Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Review, Philanthropy, Scholarship Review, and the Strings for Dreams Bluegrass Raffle, plus the Arnold Shultz Fund Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee.


    Nancy Cardwell
    IBMA Foundation
    1183 University Drive #105-215
    Burlington, NC 27215

    Thanks for working with us to make the future of bluegrass brighter!

    The IBMA Foundation, Inc. was recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a public charity under Section 170(b)(1)(a)(vi) effective November 30, 2017. Contributions are deductible to the maximum extent permitted by law. 

    Friend of the Foundation



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    The IBMA Foundation
    1183 University Drive #105-215
    Burlington, NC 27215