IBMA Foundation releases Stagecraft 101 videos

The IBMA Foundation, the charitable and educational arm of the International Bluegrass Music Association, has produced four instructional videos with Stephen Ide for the betterment of the wider professional bluegrass community, called Stagecraft 101.

These videos were filmed during the 2022 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, and cover topics that should be very helpful to both up-and-coming artists and those working behind the scenes at bluegrass events. They include comments and recommendations from top touring artists and stage pros, with music provided by Richard Brown, Bill Evans, Chris Henry, the Hillbenders, the Persimmon Sisters, Tim Stafford, and Alan Tompkins.

The four videos cover:

  • Emceeing a Bluegrass Event
  • Stage Management for Bluegrass Events
  • Emceeing a Bluegrass Band
  • Working with a Sound Crew

Nancy Cardwell, Foundation Executive Director, says that they hope these are just the start of their efforts in video education for bluegrass professionals.

“Each video is roughly ten minutes long, targeted to emcees, stage managers, band members, and others who work on or around bluegrass stages. We hope the series will also be helpful to new event producers, associations which produce events, and students in college and high school bluegrass programs who are wanting to learn these skills.

Our guest experts and video producer did a masterful job. If the series is well received, we hope to continue in future years with additional video topics.”

To get an idea of the quality and usefulness of this series, have a look at the video for Emceeing a Bluegrass Band.

The Foundation also offers mentor grants for individuals who would like to be paired with a professional in one of these areas of stagecraft. These grants cover expenses for a weekend of observation, shadowing, and advice from experienced professionals in the business.

The entire Bluegrass Stagecraft 101 project is funded by the Eppes-Jefferson Foundation, a New Hampshire-based organization which seeks to build life skills through the arts. Directors David and Sharon Ward reached out to the IBMA Foundation earlier this year, launching a conversation about what thy could do to assist in these areas, which have led to the formation of this effort.

The IBMA Foundation describes their new partners thusly…

“William D. Eppes (1918-2009), an Alabama-born librarian who lived most of his life in New York City, established The Eppes-Jefferson Foundation, Inc. as a private charitable foundation in 2008, adding ‘Jefferson’ to the name in honor of Thomas Jefferson, a distant relative of the family.”

All four of the current Stagecraft 101 videos can be viewed at the IBMA Foundation YouTube channel, and additional videos will be posted there as well.

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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.