IBMA Foundation

IBMA Foundation Booth


The IBMA Foundation supports programs and initiatives fostering the growth of bluegrass music through charitable donations and planned giving. To make a donation, go to

IBMA created the Foundation in 2007 with a bequest from the Richard Barnhart estate. Mr. Barnhart was a musician from northern Virginia who loved bluegrass and wanted to support educational programs for children.

Since the beginning our goal has been to support  bluegrass music-related educational, literary, artistic and historic preservation activities. We produced the “Discover Bluegrass” educational video that has been used in hundreds of schools and libraries around the world, and we hosted dozens of teacher workshops and artist trainings. We created a bluegrass lesson plans competition and provided a network for leaders of after-school bluegrass programs.  We fund mini-grants to pay bands to do school programs, and project grants now total $14,000/year. We initiated the Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award to recognize excellence in academic research.

At this first virtual WOB, look for the bluegrass college band showcase on Friday, Oct. 2 from 3-7 p.m. Central time. Two academic-themed sessions will be live streamed from the IBMA Foundation Facebook page  at 1 p.m. Central on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 29-30, and then the videos will be played later through the week at this virtual booth. During IBMA’s World of Bluegrass week in years that it is produced live, the Foundation presents a college bluegrass band showcase, a bluegrass college educators luncheon and a bluegrass college info session, and we also facilitate academic research-related seminars.

In 2020 the Arnold Shultz Fund was established to support the the increased participation of people of color in bluegrass music. We also offer college scholarships for female bluegrass musicians, songwriters, and for students working on a bluegrass-related degree.  The IBMA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with headquarters in Nashville and a satellite office in Burlington, North Carolina.

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