Leadership Bluegrass 2016

by | 30 Mar, 2016


Photo by Riley Mathews

The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has announced the graduating class of Leadership Bluegrass 2016.

Leadership Bluegrass, held annually since 2000, is an intensive, highly focused three-day program in which leaders and emerging leaders of the bluegrass community come together to discuss the victories and challenges facing the bluegrass music industry today, and to develop strategies for the future. The tightly contested seats were awarded to 26 participants from 14 states, who were chosen by a selection committee from a pool of 62 applicants.

Annie Savage, artist and president of the Colorado Bluegrass Association, had this to say about her unparalleled experience.
“Leadership Bluegrass affirmed what I suspected was true about building a career in bluegrass,” she noted. “It gave me the tools and motivation to move forward with a sense of renewed insight.”

Co-founder of Rounder Records Marian Leighton Levy admitted, “I’m only sorry I waited this long to be accepted. There was great spirit, camaraderie and learning.”

Leadership Bluegrass is helmed by a Planning Committee, co-chaired for 2016 by Jean Spivey, Executive Director of the Old Settler’s Music Festival in Driftwood, Texas; and Nolan Lawrence of The Hillbenders, Orange County, Ca. Trisha Tubbs of SoftResources, LLC, Lacey, Washington, was the facilitator of the event.

Leadership Bluegrass has graduated over 400 participants since its first class in 2000. The talent in the class of 2016 was drawn from the highest echelons of leadership from bluegrass music and beyond.

They are pictured below, as follows:

Row 1, L to R: Dede Wyland, artist & women’s pioneer, Md.; Leah James, IBMA Membership Services Director, Tenn.; Annie Savage, President, Colorado Bluegrass Association, Co.; Janet Brightly, festival sponsorship developer, Va.; Lisa Husted, Greyfox, Joe Val, IBMA festivals.
Row 2, L to R: Kathy Hanson, educator, Md.; Marian Leighton Levy, co-founder, Rounder Records, Mass.; Lee Stivers, promoter, Whiskey Rebellion festival, Penn.
Row 3 L to R: Sal Sauco, President, Rhode Island Bluegrass Association, R.I.; Daniel Boner, educator, East Tennessee State University, Tenn.
Row 4, L to R: Dustin Boyd, Planet Bluegrass, Co.; Jocelyn Gold, artist, Goldheart, Va.; Darby Brandli, President, California Bluegrass Association, Ca.; Kimber Ludiker, artist, Della Mae, Tenn..
Row 5, L to R: Patrice O’Neill, Executive Director, Wintergrass, Wash.; Brad Kolodner, DJ WAMU radio, Md.; Chris Joslin, Executive Director, International Bluegrass Music Museum, Ky.; Aengus Finnan, Executive Director, Folk Alliance International, Mo.; Lucas White, youth ambassador, Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, Tenn.
Row 6, L to R: Laurie Okun, co-creator, IBMA Raleigh, N.C.; Tony Kamel, artist, Wood & Wire; Texas.
Row 7, L to R: Devon Leger, publicist, Hearth Music, Wash.; Kelsi Harrigill, artist, Flatt Lonesome, Ala.; Alan Bibey, artist, Grasstowne, N.C.; James Reams, President, Arizona Bluegrass Association, Ariz.; David Morris, journalist, Bluegrass Today, Md.

Leadership Bluegrass is a program of the International Bluegrass Music Association. IBMA is the trade association that connects and educates bluegrass professionals, empowers the bluegrass community and encourages worldwide appreciation of bluegrass music of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

For more information about Leadership Bluegrass, the Class of 2016 or IBMA, please contact Shannon Turner, Director of Communications and Professional Development.