The IBMA Foundation, the charitable and educational arm of the International Bluegrass Music Association, has been actively involved all week in the 2020 all virtual World of Bluegrass conference. Their activities will continue through the weekend, with what will be a fascinating panel discussion on Friday, and a special showcase of bluegrass bands representing major colleges and universities in the US.
Today at 1:00 p.m. (EDT), they will be showing their video seminar, New Research in Bluegrass, a two hour presentation that features four current scholars who will discuss their ongoing academic projects. Each will offer a 20 minute overview of their work, followed by questions.
The Foundation describes their contributions thusly…
Chloe Levine will present research on politics, social divisions, and possible “togethernesses” in the music. Hunter Dux will address festivals in a variety of geographic/social contexts. Emily Williams will discuss ways that participants in bluegrass create a community that overcomes disability. John Duncan will explore influences on the banjo playing of Fred Cockerham. Lee Bidgood will moderate.
To watch, visit the IBMA Foundation’s virtual booth in the WOB Exhibit Hall at 1:00. There is no charge to watch this presentation, but you must obtain the free Music Pass from IBMA to access the Swapcard app. It’s a quick and easy process.
Then on Friday, October 2, the Foundation is presenting a panel discussion titled Creating a Bluegrass Legacy at noon (EDT). Organized by Richie Brown and moderated by Ron Raxter, it will include information and conversation about how individuals and organizations can become involved with bluegrass philanthropy. Jeff Hammer of Northwest Financial will present strategic advice on setting goals and issues of fundraising, and three prominent professionals in our industry, Alison Brown, Greg Cahill, and Jan Johannsen, will share insights from their work in this area.
Then on Friday afternoon, the Foundation will present a showcase of bands organized and managed by colleges and universities, consisting of students.
Scheduled to appear are:
- BJUgrass, from Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC, directed by Dr. Steve Pettit
- Denison University Bluegrass Ensemble, from Granville, OH, directed by Adam Schlenker
- East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Pride Band, from Johnson City, TN, directed by Dan Boner (2 sets)
- Warren Wilson College Bluegrass Band, from Asheville, NC, directed by Ben Krakauer
- Warren Wilson College Old Time Band #1, directed by Kevin Kehrberg
- The Buncombe County Bug Stompers (WWC Old Time Band #2), directed by Phil Jamison
You can see a full schedule for these performances online.
Then on Saturday (10/3) AT 2:00 p.m. (EDT), there will a Shout & Shine showcase featuring live music from bluegrass and roots artists of color. Scheduled to appear are Stephanie Anne Johnson, Kaïa Kater, Amythyst Kiah, Brandi Waller-Pace, Rissi Palmer, Jerron Paxton, Sunny War, and Tray Wellington.
The IBMA Foundation’s work depends on donations from within the bluegrass community. They function as a clearinghouse of sorts for those who would like to support efforts to foster the growth of bluegrass music, but who lack the time or resources to research and evaluate the many deserving artists and organizations who are seeking assistance. All donations are tax-deductible.
Full details on the Foundation can be found online.