IBMA Foundation partners with Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

The IBMA Foundation, previously known as the Foundation for Bluegrass Music, has announced a new partnership with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, also based in Nashville. Charitable giving to associations intended to foster the growth and preservation of bluegrass is the IBMA Foundation’s goal, and they do so both by planned donations to worthy people and organizations, and by accepting them from individuals who share their desire to promote the music, essentially serving as a clearinghouse for bluegrass giving.

This new association with the Community Foundation, in the form of a $50,000 endowment from the undesignated funds of the IBMA Foundation, is meant to attract new donors by providing them with the investment expertise which the Community Foundation possesses. Their long track record of success, and extensive degree of knowledge and experience in the areas of structured giving, provides the IBMA with a “back office” capability which the part-time nature of its Board does not allow.

IBMA Foundation Board Chair Fred Bartenstein says that this new partnership gives potential donors both a level of service and a confidence that may have been absent in the past.

“The IBMA Foundation is delighted to be entering into partnership with the $400+ million Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. They will bring to our new IBMA Foundation Endowment Fund considerable investment expertise as well as technical assistance, helping our donors to structure their bequests and other planned gifts. Together, we are helping bluegrass music to live forever!”

Under this new system, donors to The IBMA Foundation can still make gifts and bequests directly to the Foundation, or to the new endowment with the Community Foundation. All of these funds will continue to be used to further the interests of bluegrass music.

Each year The IBMA Foundation issues $15,000 in grants to organizations with programs designed to bring young people into the world of bluegrass. In 2018, the recipients of these grants include:

  • Black Swamp Arts Council, Tri State Youth Bluegrass Initiative (Archbold, Ohio)
  • Bluegrass Ambassadors with the Hanna Miners, Silver Sound Foundation (Carbon County, Wyoming)
  • Coda Mountain Academy Summer Music Festival (Fayetteville, West Virginia)
  • Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival (Fairbanks, Alaska)
  • Grey Fox Educational Fund, Grey Fox Bluegrass Academy for Kids (Oak Hill, New York)
  • Makers Guild of Maine, Vacationland Bluegrass Camp (Searsport, Maine)
  • Nashville School of Traditional Country Music (Nashville, Tennessee) 
  • San Diego Folk Heritage, Julian Family Fiddle Camp (San Diego, California)
  • The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, Professional Development Seminar for Musicians (Abingdon, Virginia)

The IBMA Foundation is meant to exist in perpetuity, and believes that this new partnership will help them maintain their efforts going forward as far as the mind can project. More information about their efforts can be found on their web site, or by contacting Nancy Cardwell by phone (615-260-4807) or email

For more info, please contact Nancy Cardwell at the IBMA Foundation 615-260-4807 or go to

Members of the IBMA Foundation Board include: Fred Bartenstein, Fred Bartenstein & Associates/University of Dayton (president/board chair); Alan Tompkins, Bluegrass Heritage Foundation (vice-chair); Ruth McLain, McLain Family Band/ Morehead State University (secretary); Wendy Tyner, Wintergrass/Acoustic Sound (treasurer); Tim Stafford, Blue Highway; Tom Kopp, professor emeritus/Miami University; Peter Salovey, Yale University; Peter D’Addario, St. Louis Cardinals; Sam Blumenthal, The Blumenthal Foundation; and ex-officio member Paul Schiminger, IBMA.

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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.