IBMA creates Development Director position, brings in Anna Kline

The International Bluegrass Music Association, the bluegrass music trade organization headquartered in Nashville, has announced the creation of a new position, Business Development Director, and hired Mississippi native Anna Kline to fill the post.

Unlike a typical Development Director, who commonly would be tasked with finding additional financial resources for a school or organization, this new role at IBMA is meant to identify new opportunities for the bluegrass industry, as well as the many members of the Association. Part of Anna’s job will be building necessary relationships with artists, sponsors, exhibitors, partners, vendors, and customers of the annual World of Bluegrass convention, while she also seeks out grants and programs that can be of benefit to IBMA and its professional membership.

While creating this position, IBMA Executive Director Pat Morris said that he had a wide range in experience in mind.

“In developing this new position at IBMA, I was specifically looking for someone who knew bluegrass music and understood how important all of our partners are in building the bluegrass experience. Anna will be an important part of our team as we get back to the music at this year’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh. Her initiative, strategic thinking, and vision will help us to even greater success in the future.”

Kline grew up listening to Gospel, blues and soul music and studied music business and film at the University of Memphis. She started her career with Malaco Records in Jackson, MI handling copyrights and licensing for their catalog. Other steps along the way have included working as a special projects officer at the Mississippi Development Authority, the Division of Tourism and the Mississippi Film Office, and writing for the Mississippi Culinary Trail. Additionally she is a Kentucky Arts Council Community Scholar and a member of the KAC Performing Artists Directory.

As a performer, Anna is one half of Grits & Soul, who had been invited showcase artists at World of Bluegrass in the past. They have also been featured at MerleFest, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, Suwannee Springfest, and the Country Festival in Belgium. Besides all that she has extensive experience as a free lance writer, a workshop leader, and a project coordinator. 

Working from her home in Mt. Sterling, KY, Kline says she welcomes the challenges of her new job.

“I am proud to represent IBMA as Business Development Director. Bluegrass is a distinctively American art form and the ultimate connecting point. I love that we can go anywhere in the world, sit down with fellow musicians, play familiar tunes together, and have a meaningful, shared experience—and walk away with lasting friendships.”

More information about IBMA and World of Bluegrass 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.