IBMA seeks comment on Awards Show guidelines

IBMAThe Board of Directors of the International Bluegrass Music Association has accepted a report from the recently formed Awards Show Guidelines and Oversight Task Force, which sets out their recommendations for Board supervision and responsibility for the annual awards presentation.

This task force was created in response to an uproar from a portion of the IBMA membership who took offense at what they believed was a pro war, or at least pro US military theme in two musical presentations during the 2006 presentation, and the inclusion in the show of a particular song that the Board had requested be excised from the program.

We discussed that issue when it was a hot topic last fall, here and here.

The proposed document, entitled Recommendation to the IBMA Board of Directors – Awards Show Guidelines Task Force 2007, can be read on the IBMA site, and the Board has requested that members carefully read the report, and share their feedback via a link that is posted at the bottom of the report.

The stated goal is to ensure that decisions about the Awards Show are made and managed at the Board level, and as a side concern, that the show ensures that “the diversity of the international bluegrass community, including the IBMA’s membership, is respected.” Approximately 3.5% of the IBMA’s professional membership lives outside the United States.

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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.

  • Jon Weisberger

    I’m not sure where the 3.5% international membership figure comes from – by my reckoning, it’s more like 7.5%, with almost 8.5% of individual professional members outside of the US. That’s a higher percentage of members than for any single state of the US except Tennessee.

    Consider, too, that the recommendations to the Board speak of respecting not just the diversity of the IBMA’s membership, but of the international bluegrass community. As a number of items published to Bluegrass Today in the past have made clear – the announcement of the Claire Lynch Band’s forthcoming European tour is only the latest – there is an audience for bluegrass outside the US, a growing one which, among other things, offers opportunities for US-based artists and other professionals. And just as in the US, there are plenty of people elsewhere who “would not normally come into contact with bluegrass,” and so when the show’s mission includes introducing bluegrass to such people, it includes them, too.

    The oversight process and guidelines recommendations encourage respect for “‚Äúthe diversity of the international bluegrass community, including the IBMA‚Äôs membership,‚Äù meaning 1) not just the IBMA’s international members, but all of its members, and 2) not just the IBMA’s members, but the bluegrass community as a whole – and surely there can be no doubt that we have a diverse community!

  • Jon is certainly in a better position than I to assess the percentage of IBMA membership which originates outside the US; I defer to his numbers.

    I believe my 3.5% comes from an indication which lists only the top five non-US countries.