Pisgah Banjo raffle to benefit IBMA Foundations’ Arnold Shultz Fund

The Pisgah Banjo Company in Asheville, NC is offering a unique old time banjo in a raffle to benefit the IBMA Foundation’s Arnold Shultz Fund.

The Fund, established in 2020 to encourage greater participation by people of color in traditional old-time and bluegrass music, will set aside $10,000 of the monies generated from the raffle to the Black Banjo Reclamation Project for their gourd banjo building workshop.

Shultz is well known in bluegrass circles as one of Bill Monroe’s chief musical influences, along with his Uncle Pen Vandiver. Arnold was a blues singer and guitarist in eastern Kentucky while young Bill was growing up, and not only taught him about the blues, he gave Monroe his first paying gig.

The banjo to be raffled is made from 200 year old heart pine grown on a plantation near where Joel Walker Sweeney was raised around Appamatox, VA. Sweeney was a major figure in banjo music in the mid nineteenth century, and is regarded as having brought the instrument from its origins among African slaves into “polite society.”

The specifications for this banjo are as follows:

  • Scale: 25.5″
  • Rim: 12″ walnut w/wood tone ring and heart pine rim cap
  • Neck: heart pine
  • Fingerboard: persimmon
  • Peghead: slotted w/persimmon veneer
  • Head: REMO Renaissance w/PBCO logo
  • Tailpiece: Pisgah Hawktail
  • Bridge: walnut/persimmon, Mulherron
  • Hardware: aged brass
  • Tuners: high quality brass, Gotoh
  • Strings: PBCO clawhammer medium gauge

Pisgah Banjos chose February for this second raffle to coincide with Black History month. Tickets are offered for $20 online, with all proceeds going to the Arnold Shulz Fund.

The company raised $26,740 in a similar raffle last year, exceeding their goal of selling 1,000 tickets. In light of that, their goal for 2022 will be 2,000 tickets and $40,000 for the Arnold Shultz Fund. 

Full details, along with raffle tickets, can be found online.

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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.