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.

Discover Bluegrass DVD

Exploring American Roots Music

Click here to stream the contents of each chapter of the Discover Bluegrass DVD

Discover Bluegrass DVDFor educational use only in schools, associations, libraries and with home schooling families. Contact IBMA Foundation for broadcast info

$5/each (for 1 or 2 DVDs, includes shipping)
$3/each plus actual shipping cost for orders of 3 or more DVDs

To order:
Email Nancy Cardwell- Foundation Administrator

Discover Bluegrass introduces young (and young at heart) viewers to an original, joyful and uniquely American genre of acoustic roots music. Six instructional units, each roughly 10 minutes in length, explore the history and evolution of bluegrass music, starting with its old-time music roots and continuing through contemporary styles. Demonstrations include a look at the unique vocal harmony structure used in bluegrass music, along with info on the instruments used and their roles within a band. Individual lesson plans for each unit are included, designed to address educational performance standards. Hosted by rising bluegrass stars Sierra Hull and Ryan Holladay, Discover Bluegrass presents the genre from a youthful perspective, complete with live interviews, performance footage, historic photos and songs from bluegrass music’s biggest stars—past, current and future!

Length of entire film: 67 minutes

Target age level: 8-13, grades 3-8

Download Lesson Plans for the DVD

I. Bluegrass Music Today (11:00)
II. The Roots of Bluegrass (10:28)
III. Early Bluegrass (11:33)
IV. The Growth & Expansion of Bluegrass Music (11:30)
V. Singing in Bluegrass Music (8:36)
VI. Bluegrass Instruments (12:18)

Hosts: Sierra Hull & Ryan Holladay, 
except for Chapter I. Bluegrass Music Today, hosted by A.J. Lee & Max Schwartz

Featuring interviews & performance footage from The Andals; Sam Bush; The Chapmans; J.D. Crowe & the New South; Jerry Douglas; Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys; Bela Fleck; The Del McCoury Band with Vince Gill; The Grascals; The David Grisman Quintet; Hot Rize; Alison Krauss + Union Station; The Malpass Family; Jimmy Martin & The Sunny Mountain Boys; Jim & Jesse McReynolds; Bill Monroe & The Blue Grass Boys; Muleskinner; Nickel Creek; Old & In the Gray; The Osborne Brothers; The Peasall Sisters; The Reeltime Travelers; Don Reno; Peter Rowan; The Seldom Scene; The Shankman Twins; Ricky Skaggs; The Special Consensus; Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys; Rhonda Vincent & the Rage and more!

Produced by: Greg Cahill & Nancy Cardwell, Chapter 1 produced by Phil Bankester and Nancy Cardwell 

Written & Directed by: Steve Parry & Eric Farnaus, Image Base, Chicago, Ill. Updated chapter I: Phil Bankester

Original Script written by: Jack Tottle

Lesson Plans: Tom Kopp, Ph.D.
(In the DVD version, you can download and print lesson plans for all six units!)

Major funding provided by the membership of IBMA, Bluegrass Unlimited, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the California Bluegrass Association, the Northern Indiana Bluegrass Association and the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association.

Click here to stream the contents of each chapter of the Discover Bluegrass DVD