Scholarships, Grants & Awards

Scholarships & Grants

 

The Fletcher Bright Memorial Grant for Young Musicians

Fletcher Bright Memorial Grant for Young Musicians will be awarded in various amounts to cover expenses of lessons, educational materials, instrument rental or purchase, workshops and camps. Young bluegrass musicians at all levels may apply for assistance. Financial need will be considered but is not required to receive a Bright grant. Applications for Bright grants may be made  throughout the year at this link.

The grant honors Fletcher White Bright (1931-2017), a lifelong resident of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, who led a residential and commercial development company with offices in Chattanooga and Atlanta. One of the world’s great traditional old time and bluegrass fiddlers, Fletcher was a lover and supporter of all things bluegrass, and his vast repertoire of fiddle tunes is legendary.

The Gloria Belle Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship named in memory of bluegrass singer and multi-instrumentalist Gloria Belle, will help with expenses at college or technical training institutes for bluegrass musicians and singers, or individuals studying behind-the-scenes subjects like sound engineering, broadcasting, event projection, photography, videography, publicity, marketing, graphic design, instrument building, and more. Our goal is to award the first $1,000 Gloria Belle scholarship for the fall semester of the 2025-26 school year. 

The IBMA Bluegrass College Scholarship

The IBMA Bluegrass College Scholarship grants one $1,000 scholarship to a student who is studying bluegrass music or a related major on the college level. The deadline to apply is June 1, for a fall semester scholarship. Go here to fill out the application form. The successful applicant will be a student planning a career in the bluegrass music industry. Photo above: The East Tennessee Bluegrass Pride Band. 

J. D. Crowe Banjo Scholarship

J. D. Crowe Banjo Scholarships will be awarded to individuals planning to study the banjo on the college level or play the banjo in a college-level bluegrass ensemble. Applicants must already demonstrate a high level of performance skills on the five-string banjo and plan to become involved in the bluegrass music industry on a professional level. Longtime friend and fellow Kentucky bluegrass musician Arthur Hancock III has donated the initial funds to endow the scholarship for the benefit of banjo players for generations to come. Hancock’s son, Arthur Hancock IV, a member of the IBMA Foundation board of directors, was also instrumental in creating the scholarship in Crowe’s memory.  The deadline to apply HERE is June, for a scholarship in the fall.

The Rick Lang Music Songwriter Scholarship

The Rick Lang Music Songwriter Scholarship is a $2,000 award to a student majoring in a subject related to songwriting. Applicants must be IBMA members (www.ibma.org).  Rick Lang (above) is a GRAMMY-nominated writer who serves as the chair of the IBMA Songwriter Committee and volunteers with the IBMA Songwriter Mentor Program. This scholarship is supported by an endowment at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee which was initially funded by Rick and Wendy Lang. Contact us if you would like to help to support the future of bluegrass songwriting with a donation to this scholarship.  Go here to apply for the scholarship. Deadline: June 1, for a spring semester scholarship.

Katy Daley Broadcast Media/ Sound Engineering Scholarship

The Katy Daley Broadcast Media/Sound Engineering Scholarship will be awarded annually to individuals planning to study broadcasting or sound engineering at college or in a continuing education program with a bluegrass music focus. Eligible areas of study include radio, television, digital media, recorded sound engineering and mastering, live sound engineering, and related disciplines. Applicants must plan to become involved in the bluegrass music industry on a professional level and be current IBMA members. (See ibma.org to join IBMA.) The deadline to apply HERE is June 1, for a fall semester scholarship.

The Sally Ann Forrester Scholarship

 The Sally Ann Forrester College Scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship awarded to a female bluegrass musician. Students may be majoring in any subject, including bluegrass music. The IBMA Foundation administers the scholarship, which is funded by an endowment at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Sally Ann Forrester played accordion and sang as a member of Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys from 1943-1946, thus becoming the first female professional bluegrass musician in history. The application deadline is June 1 for a fall semester scholarship. Go here to apply.

Project Grants

Project Grants (usually in the amount of $1,000-2,500) support bluegrass-related programs or events in the area of arts & culture, education, literary projects, or history preservation. Click here for a list of previous project grant recipients.

The deadline to apply for a Project Grant is December 1.

Mini-grants

Bluegrass in the Schools Mini-grants ($500) are awarded to schools or organizations to help pay bluegrass and string bands to present educational programs for students.

Mini-grants may be applied for throughout the year.

More Grant Programs

The Arnold Shultz Fund

The Arnold Shultz Fund supports initiatives to encourage participation by people of color in bluegrass music. Richard S. Brown and Neil V. Rosenberg co-chair the advisory committee for the fund named after the talented African American guitarist and fiddler who influenced the development of bluegrass music.

The Neil Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award

The Neil Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award is an annual cash award, presented to the developing academic scholar who presents the best paper accepted by a juried academic conference on an aspect of bluegrass music. The recipient will receive a $500 honorarium plus admission to the next IBMA Business Conference and Awards Show. The deadline to apply for this annual award is June 30.

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