The Montgomery Museum of Art and History is one of nine recipients awarded a grant through the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Foundation (IBMA) via the Arnold Shultz Fund.
The museum was granted $2,500 to develop a concert at the Moss Arts Center called, “Cultural Crossroads in Traditional Music.” This concert program will explore interactions and intersections between bluegrass music and African American, Indigenous First People, Hispanic/Latino, and European cultures.
The concert will also include Junior Appalachian Musicians who will help celebrate the multi-cultural dimensions of traditional bluegrass through music, dance, and story-telling. The grant will fund additional staff time, travel stipends for committee members representing various cultures, and a marketing plan to reach and engage an inclusive audience with emphasis on children and young people.
The concert date and time have not been scheduled yet, but the concert is expected to be presented in the fall of 2023.
“We are delighted and honored to be included as an awardee of the Arnold Shultz Fund,” said Casey Jenkins, the Executive Director of the Montgomery Museum. “This grant will allow us to program and curate a very unique collaboration and blend of artists, cultures, and stories, that all intersect with traditional bluegrass music.
“We will also partner with other community agencies such as the Junior Appalachian Musicians of Montgomery County as well as the Blacksburg Museum and Cultural Foundation,” Jenkins said. “These community partnerships will greatly enhance the concert program.”
The Montgomery Museum was the only grant recipient in Virginia. Other individual and organization grantees were from Alaska, Texas, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, California, and even two awardees from India and Kenya.
Arnold Shultz (1886 – 1931) was an African American musician from western Kentucky. Best known as an extraordinary guitarist and fiddle player, Shultz often played with Bill Monroe’s fiddle-playing uncle, Pendleton (“Pen”) Vandiver. At these gigs, Monroe met Shultz and began to emulate his backup guitar style.
Shultz was impressed enough with Monroe’s progress that he hired Monroe to play guitar with him at dances, thereby giving Monroe his first jobs as a professional musician. Monroe often credited Shultz with influencing his approach to playing music.
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