The Arnold Shultz Fund

IBMA Foundation established the Arnold Shultz Fund in 2020 to support activities increasing participation of people of color in bluegrass music. Arnold Shultz (1886–1931) was an African American musician from western Kentucky who had a profound influence on Bill Monroe and the development of bluegrass. More information on Arnold Shultz may be found in the article links below. 

Members of the Arnold Shultz Fund Advisory Committee include co-chairs Richard Brown and Neil Rosenberg, with Erika Brady, Sav Sankaran, Trisha Tubbs, and Lily Werbin. 

Read about the 2021 Arnold Shultz Fund grant application process here.

Download the 2021 grant application form here.

For more info contact Nancy Cardwell at

You can visit the Arnold Shultz Facebook page here. 

Deadline to apply for grant: January 31

Learn more about Arnold Shultz:

“Arnold Shultz: A Hidden Legend Steps into the Spotlight” (by Nancy Cardwell, Bluegrass Unlimited, December 2020) Shared with permission from Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. Please consider subscribing here.)

“Over $30,000 raised for Arnold Shultz Fund in first two months of existence” (The Cornerstone, August 2020)

“IBMA Foundation announces Arnold Shultz Fund“(The Cornerstone, July 2020)

“Arnold Shultz: the greatest (?) guitar picker’s life ended before promise realized,” by Keith Lawrence (The Cornerstone, June 2020)

“Arnold Shultz: Black fiddling and bluegrass music,” posted on March 12, 2017 by Peter Feldmann (Pete’s Place)

“Bluegrass, string music deeply rooted in African-American tradition,” by Thomas Goldsmith (News & Observer, Sept. 30, 2014 – updated Feb. 13, 2015)

Folklorist William E. Lightfoot on Arnold Shultz (2013)

“Contested Origins: Arnold Shultz and the Music of Western Kentucky” chapter by Erika Brady in the book, Hidden in the Mix: The African American Presence in Country Music (edited by Diane Pecknold, Duke University Press, 2013)

Kentucky Country: Folk and Country Music of  Kentucky, by Charles K. Wolfe (excerpt, University Press of Kentucky, 1982)

Arnold Shultz (Wikipedia)

Richard Brown on Arnold Shultz

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