NASHVILLE (March 7, 2022) – The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) welcomes Anna Kline as Business Development Director.

Anna has extensive experience both on stage and behind the scenes. She comes to IBMA with 10 concentrated years as a full-time songwriter and musician, and over 15 years of experience as a freelance writer and project coordinator in the culture and heritage tourism and music industries.

Originally from Hernando, Mississippi, raised on a steady diet of hymns, harmonies, and Memphis soul, Anna went on to study music business and mass media at the University of Memphis. She worked for Southern soul label Malaco Records in Jackson, Mississippi, focusing on copyright and licensing for their famed collection of soul, gospel, and blues publishing catalogs. Following her time at Malaco, Anna was a special projects officer at the Mississippi Development Authority, Division of Tourism and the Mississippi Film Office, writing the content for the Mississippi Culinary Trail, co-coordinated film industry workshops, spent time as a location scout, and organized the first Mississippi music showcase for SXSW.

Her acoustic roots duo, Grits & Soul, is a former World of Bluegrass showcase artist; they were also featured performers on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. The duo toured the Southeast U.S. and Europe appearing at festivals such as MerleFest, Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, Suwannee Springfest, and Country Festival in Belgium. They have also opened for Jim Lauderdale and Ben Sollee. Her electric band, Swift Silver, released their debut album last summer.

Anna is a Kentucky Arts Council Community Scholar and a member of the KAC Performing Artists Directory. She is a regularly featured speaker and instructor for both youth and adult workshops on vocal harmonies, songwriting, and festival programming and continues to coordinate music showcases and community folklife events. Anna currently lives in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky with her husband and songwriting partner, John Looney, who plays mandolin and guitar for Rounder Records artist John R. Miller.

“I am proud to represent IBMA as Business Development Director. “Bluegrass is a distinctively American art form and the ultimate connecting point. I love that we can go anywhere in the world, sit down with fellow musicians, play familiar tunes together, and have a meaningful, shared experience—and walk away with lasting friendships.”

Kline will be responsible for building relationships with members, sponsors, exhibitors, partners, vendors, and customers. She will also develop new business opportunities, grants, and programs. In addition, she will track emerging markets and trends, foster an entrepreneurial growth and member service culture throughout IBMA, and help find new opportunities for the bluegrass industry.

“In developing this new position at IBMA, I was specifically looking for someone who knew bluegrass music and understood how important all of our partners are in building the bluegrass experience. Anna will be an important part of our team as we get back to the music at this year’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh. Her initiative, strategic thinking, and vision will help us to even greater success in the future,” says Executive Director, Pat Morris.

About IBMA

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the non-profit music association that connects, educates, and empowers bluegrass professionals and enthusiasts, honoring tradition and encouraging innovation in the bluegrass community worldwide.

General Info: Ally Lubera, IBMA
[email protected], (615) 256-3222

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