Bluegrass Stagecraft 101 educational videos

The IBMA Foundation is proud to announce Bluegrass Stagecraft 101, a series of short skill-building videos. Free to the public via YouTube, the videos focus on behind-the-scenes roles in the bluegrass music industry. Produced by Stephen Ide and filmed at the 2022 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, the first four videos include: “Emceeing a Bluegrass Event,” “Stage Management for Bluegrass Events,” “Emceeing a Bluegrass Band,” and “Working with a Sound Crew.”

To view the videos, click on the icons above or go to the IBMA Foundation YouTube channel at this link.

“Each video is roughly 10 minutes long, targeted to emcees, stage managers, band members and others who work on or around bluegrass stages” said IBMA Foundation executive director Nancy Cardwell. “We hope the series will also be helpful to new event producers, associations which produce events, and students in college and high school bluegrass programs who are wanting to learn these skills. Our guest experts and video producer did a masterful job. If the series is well received, we hope to continue in future years with additional video topics.”


In addition to the four videos, the program offers Mentor Grants for individuals wishing to be paired with a professional in one of the four areas for a weekend of observation, shadowing, and advice. Two mentorship grants will be awarded in 2023, helping to cover the applicant’s travel to a concert or festival and also a stipend for the mentor. Those interested in applying for a Bluegrass Stagecraft 101 Mentor Grant may email or call Nancy Cardwell at (615) 260-4807.

Bluegrass Stagecraft 101 is funded by the Eppes-Jefferson Foundation, a New Hampshire-based organization which seeks to build life skills through the arts. Co-executive directors David and Sharon Ward contacted the IBMA Foundation in March of 2022 and began brainstorming ideas with staff. William D. Eppes (1918-2009), an Alabama-born librarian who lived most of his life in New York City, established The Eppes-Jefferson Foundation, Inc. as a private charitable foundation in 2008, adding “Jefferson” to the name in honor of Thomas Jefferson, a distant relative of the family.

The IBMA Foundation thanks the following experts for sharing their advice and examples in the videos: event emcees Katy Daley, Barbara Heller, and Brad Kolodner; band emcees Joe Newberry and Ron Thomason; stage managers Shelley Howard and Chris Keenan; and sound engineers Pete Nabut and Howard Rose.

Background music was provided by Richard Brown, Bill Evans, Chris Henry, the Hillbenders, the Persimmon Sisters, Tim Stafford, and Alan Tompkins.