Donate to IBMM
This is the only bluegrass museum in the world, and it is entrusted with preserving the international history of bluegrass music. To do this, and do it responsibly, we need your help. Please consider becoming a donor of either funds or artifact(s), or both, as both are needed. (Scroll down to see a description of funding choices.)
Any donation $45.00 and above will constitute a one year renewal of your membership, and will go into effect the date your previous membership would have expired. Please scroll down to specify the program you wish to support or, if you wish, to support the museum's operating expenses.
WHY YOUR DONATION IS SO IMPORTANT NOW: These are challenging times... yet times of great accomplishment at your Bluegrass Museum. We have recently opened five new exhibits and hosted the historic Pioneers of Bluegrass Gathering, attended by bluegrass icons who helped shape and spread bluegrass music worldwide. We are dealing with an economic crisis which has hit everyone in our nation, especially in arts-based non-profits. Due to our facility and programs being supported 33% by gifts from bluegrass-loving individuals whose portfolios were demolished by the stock market crash, we have had to cut staff and every possible expense. Yet we are grateful that we are still operating, and still playing bluegrass in every hallway, on every stage, at every opportunity, with energy and enthusiasm. We will survive, because we must. We must for your sake, for the sake of your children and their children, and especially for the sake of the men and women who have dedicated their lives to playing this music we all love: bluegrass.
The profoundly important work of this museum must proceed, regardless of the economy. We must complete the videotaping of our Bluegrass Pioneers (we still have 40 or more legendary musicians to interview), and we must complete the editing of the footage created through this Video Oral History Project. To date we have professionally videotaped nearly 200 in-depth interviews and dozens of concerts by these legends, yet only 21 of these have been edited into individual documentaries of each musician, as is our long-range plan. Our task is to complete both the gathering and the editing necessary to complete this massive project while many of Bluegrass Music's First Generation are still with us, so they can proudly view additional proof of the legacy they have created for future generations. When all the pieces of this mosaic have been polished and put in place, what we will have is a compelling visual history of artistic rural life in the first half of the 20th Century. By watching these documentaries, we will be able to relive the stories and see and hear the timeless appeal of the music played by the earliest standard bearers of bluegrass.
As the reputation of the museum grows globally, so does our collection. In only a few years, we will outgrow our space. Only about 10% of our collection is on display at this time, and storage space will soon become an issue. We need to all work and plan together so that when the time comes that we must expand, we will have the necessary funding to make that expansion happen.
You can contribute to General Operating Expenses or to Programs:
General Operating Expenses = overall operating expenses of the museum includes preserving the history, artifacts and collections of bluegrass music including objects on display as well as in the vault; maintaining permanent exhibits and creating new ones; archiving, cataloguing and digitizing the collection; keeping the building in good repair, the HVAC system operating, the utilities on, the doors open, and staff to run it all.
Programs (choose from any listed below):
- VIDEO ORAL HISTORY PROJECT — This museum's flagship project: We have completed nearly 200 professionally videotaped interviews and concert performances by 1st and early 2nd generation bluegrass musicians all across the nation. We have others yet to do. This project has been aided greatly by the legendary musicians and expert interviewers who have donated their artistic creativity and deep bluegrass knowledge to this important project.
- ROMP (RIVER OF MUSIC PARTY) and PIONEERS OF BLUEGRASS GATHERING A museum-style bluegrass festival takes place annually the last weekend of June, featuring a Legend’s Concert, new exhibits, educational forums, and performances by stellar musicians. The Pioneers Gathering brings together first and second generation bluegrass pioneers for three days and two nights of great stories, jam sessions, a formal recognition ceremony, a Legends supper, a Legends concert, and unforgettable onstage performances.
- BITS: BLUEGRASS IN THE SCHOOLS provides hands-on guitar, mandolin, fiddle & banjo instruction to 8,500 elementary students in 23 schools (8 days per school per year) and annual bluegrass assembly programs to 18,500 elementary students in 32 schools. SATURDAY LESSONS PROGRAM, providing free instruments on loan and modestly-priced group bluegrass music lessons every other Saturday at the museum for hundreds of area residents of all ages. The participants of this program, dubbed the KENTUCKY BLUEGRASS ALLSTARS, perform at ROMP each year. In ever increasing numbers, they are forming bands and performing region-wide.
- RBI: RADIO BLUEGRASS INTERNATIONAL, the worldwide extension of the museum streams 24/7 from our website, featuring museum-style vintage programming, VOHP and live interviews, concerts, radio shows from off-site producers, new releases & more. www.bluegrassmuseum.org
- MONROE-STYLE MANDOLIN CAMPS: Annual music camps are hosted at the museum with some of the foremost Monroe stylists passing on the performance art of Bill Monroe. Attendance is capped at 50/year. This camp draws talented mandolinists from all around the world.