IBMA, Foundation For Bluegrass Music Announce Merger

The International Bluegrass Music Association, Inc. (IBMA) and the Foundation for Bluegrass Music Inc. have merged into a single organization, with the Foundation for Bluegrass Music now known as the IBMA Foundation. The merger recognizes and formalizes the historic relationship between the two organizations and will help to strengthen coordination of their fundraising and operations. The merger became effective on Nov. 30.

The Foundation now enjoys greater access to IBMA’s staff and infrastructure to facilitate joint fundraising and other joint efforts that benefit both organizations. Meanwhile, the IBMA, for the first time since its inception, is able to accept charitable contributions directly from donors, who can claim tax deductions for those contributions. The IBMA will seek to benefit as well from its new capacity to apply for grants as a Section 501(c)(3) organization.

IBMA, the professional bluegrass organization founded in 1985, has created numerous programs to help preserve the legacy of bluegrass music, while supporting the genre’s future. These programs include the Bluegrass Hall of Fame (originally the Bluegrass Hall of Honor), the International Bluegrass Music Museum, the Bluegrass Trust Fund (a safety net for bluegrass professionals), World of Bluegrass, and, in 2007, the Foundation for Bluegrass Music.

Joe Mullins, Chair of the IBMA, added, “I am grateful for the planning and execution of this merger, with many hours invested by the Board of Directors of IBMA, the Board and officers of the Foundation and Paul Schiminger, IBMA E.D., and Nancy Cardwell, the Foundation Administrator. Bluegrass music is our shared passion, and now it’s easier for each member of our community to participate in successfully funding the efforts of the association on behalf of our membership, and the programming encouraged and supported by the Foundation.”

Paul Schiminger, Executive Director of the IBMA emphasized, “The strong 10-year partnership of the IBMA and what is now the IBMA Foundation has now become even stronger. Each organization benefits from this combined effort to carry forward ongoing efforts to educate, connect, and empower the bluegrass community. This merger will create efficiencies to attract and utilize additional resources necessary to fulfill our collective mission.”


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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