Foundation Announces “Bluegrass Innovator” Grant Recipients For 2013 (Nov. 2012)

On September 27, 2012, the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Bluegrass Music announced that four projects will receive a total of $8,000 in grants in 2013.

The educational program at The Freight and Salvage, a legendary Berkeley, CA venue for bluegrass and acoustic music, will include year-round classes in six-week sessions and one-time workshops. Classes will be led by local or visiting musicians. Previous teachers include Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, Laurie Lewis, Bill Evans, Avram Siegel and Eric Thompson. Workshops and classes at the Berkeley Society for the Preservation of Traditional Music are open to all ages, and a Fiddlekids summer camp and year-round workshops for young people are also available. 

The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail has a history of partnering with musicians, venues, and schools to promote and preserve the traditional music of Southwest Virginia. The grant will fund the creation of an artists roster of musicians willing to present quality bluegrass performances in the region’s schools. The Crooked Road will promote artists and music programs to schools throughout the 19-county region, and implement at least 6 performances in 2013, reaching more than 3,000 students.

The project organized by the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown, a festival in Durango, CO, will expand the current Kids Program from 11 events over one weekend (9 Bluegrass in the Schools presentations, 1 Kids Bluegrass Workshop and 1 Kids Bluegrass Jam Session), to a total of 28 events hosted over the course of a year (7 additional school presentations, 5 additional workshops, and 5 additional jam sessions). Hosting multiple events throughout the year will increase awareness and appreciation of bluegrass music in the region, with approximately 3,000 young people and 200 adults benefiting.

Clay County, WV was once a small, vibrant bluegrass community with music instruction in its six schools. But due to a severely depressed economy, all music programs except one have been eliminated. The Bluegrass Foundation grant will revitalize music in local schools through a blend of Guitars in the Classroom teacher training, song-leading and playing, and mentorship by community players, led by the last music teacher in the county. The county’s 2,000 students will be included in after-school music clubs, daily classroom music integration, and assemblies. Twenty-four teachers and volunteers will be trained to lead music in K-12 classrooms and after-school programs.

Bluegrass Foundation grants for the coming year have been named in honor of two legendary contributors to the genre, both who passed away in 2012: banjo player Earl Scruggs, a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame; and California event producer Warren Hellman, a recipient of the IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award. Qualifying for a grant is a competitive process, and candidates must meet the Foundation’s Grant Application Guidelines.

For more info, visit or write to The Foundation for Bluegrass Music, 2 Music Circle South, Ste. 100; Nashville, TN 37203.