The International Bluegrass Music Association launched a new program this year to assist bluegrass groups from outside the United States to make the trip to Raleigh, NC for their annual World of Bluegrass convention. Called the International Band Performance Grant, it offers a modest sum to assist with travel expenses, as well as logistical support for a subsequent tour of the US.
Initial funding for this grant was provided by Paul and Alys Schiminger, who agreed to match up to $50,000 in new donations for the effort earlier this year. The first grant was given to Curly Strings from Estonia, who were chosen as an official showcase act for the 2023 convention.
Applications are now being accepted for a 2023 grant, which is open to any non-US bluegrass artist or group. The successful recipient is asked to commit to obtaining the necessary O or P-2 visas to enter the country and perform during the 2023 World of Bluegrass, and again for a tour in 2024.
The IBMA’s International Band Performance Grant Steering Committee will review all applications received by December 23, and announce a recipient early next year.
While the grant is not likely to cover all of the expenses of bringing a band to the US, it should be a major boost in having visa applications approved. Any bluegrass act or artist hoping to establish a presence in this country should seriously consider applying.
An application can be submitted online. Be ready to provide biographical and contact information for all members, and submit links to music from the band.
The actual amount of the grant is dependent on donations received, so all bluegrass lovers worldwide who are in a position to do so are encouraged to contribute to fund this grant, and others distributed by the IBMA, the IBMA Trust Fund, and the IBMA Foundation.
Contact the IBMA for more information about donating to this or any of their programs.