Gabrielle Gray departs as IBMM Director

ibmmIBMA isn’t the only international bluegrass organization looking for an Executive Director. The IBMM, (International Bluegrass Music Museum), located in Owensboro, KY, is also on the hunt.

It was announced yesterday afternoon that Gabrielle Gray, who has served in that position for the past 12 years, is stepping down as Executive Director, though she will retain her position as Executive Producer of the ROMP festival hosted each June in Owensboro. Gray will also continue to serve as the Museum’s primary grant writer.

While a search is conducted for a new Director, Carly Smith will serve as Interim Director. She has been on the IBMM staff for 3 years and serves currently as Assistant Director.

It is an important time in the life of the organization, as they are finalizing funding now for a new museum site, to include a concert venue and restaurant along the Ohio River. A search committee under the direction of Peter Salovey, Yale University President, will be reviewing candidates for the Executive Director position.

As she exits the top job, Gray expressed enthusiasm for IBMM, for ROMP, and for the redevelopment efforts in Owensboro.

Gabrielle Gray“It gives me great pleasure to see how far we’ve come as a museum and as a performing arts entity in our community. All of our programs have grown by leaps and bounds. Working in close partnership with Carly Smith for the past three years has given me complete confidence in her ability to guide staff and operations at the museum while the Board of Trustees search for a new Executive Director. We have a dedicated Board of Trustees, two of whom – Rosemary Conder and Ross Leazenby – are assisting with this transition.

I am delighted to remain in the leadership coalition of the museum, to write its grants and produce what I and many others consider to be one of the finest music festivals in the world. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than presenting the best musicians in the world in the finest atmosphere at Yellow Creek Park. Nothing makes me happier than experiencing amazing music and sharing it with my local and global community.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all the terrific staff at IBMM, and the trustees — especially Terry Woodward — the City of Owensboro, Daviess County Fiscal Court, Kentucky Arts Council, all our granting agencies and foundations, ROMP sponsors, Museum and Center donors, members and supporters, volunteers and attendees – all the thousands of people who have been so instrumental in enthusiastically elevating the bluegrass museum to carry the banner for Owensboro, Kentucky, and for bluegrass music worldwide. All these entities working together have made it possible for ROMP to advance to the position it now holds in the pantheon of great American festivals, and for the International Bluegrass Music Museum to responsibly preserve the history and artifacts of this amazing, international music genre.”

More details about the IBMM, ROMP and the museum’s fundraising efforts can be found online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.