IBMA Launches New Awards In September

Image634769967953039610The International Bluegrass Music Association is proud to announce a new annual slate of awards designed to recognize promising new talent in bluegrass music. The IBMA Momentum Awards will be presented to an inaugural group of recipients at World of Bluegrass 2012 in Nashville, September 24-30.

The Momentum Awards focus on artists and business people who are in the early years of their careers in bluegrass music. Five artists will receive performance awards, while three industry awards will go to key contributors in the bluegrass business. The Momentum Awards are not to be confused with the long-standing IBMA Awards, which are the gold standard for peer-recognized excellence in bluegrass music. The Momentum Awards will acknowledge something undeniable about bluegrass music—that many of its most dynamic artists and entrepreneurs are young or relatively new to the genre, and there are perhaps more artists playing bluegrass or bluegrass-related music than at any time in decades. IBMA looks forward to recognizing the best of them.

Performance awards will go to one band, one vocalist and three instrumentalists. There is no category for new recorded music, but the release of an album or a single and its reception will be an important consideration for artist awards. On the industry side, eligible career paths will include (but are not limited to) management, labels, promotion, radio, publicity, marketing, association leadership and recording.

“The talents of emerging artists and industry professionals are essential to keeping bluegrass alive and growing, and the IBMA board feels these individuals deserve special recognition for the hard work and the many contributions they are making to the industry as a whole,” says IBMA Interim Executive Director Nancy Cardwell. “The Momentum Awards are a supplement to the current IBMA Awards structure, created to encourage growth and a wider sense of ownership and pride in the organization.”

Momentum Award winners will be selected by a multiple committee-driven process. The initial committee will compile lists of eligible candidates based on recommendations from the IBMA membership and an outreach process within the bluegrass community, and a second committee will decide on the recipients. Regional and local associations will be encouraged to identify serious emerging artists for consideration, but any IBMA member may suggest an artist or industry leader for consideration by emailing a letter of recommendation to info@ibma.org.

Anyone previously nominated for an IBMA Award may not be considered for a Momentum Award. Honorees will receive a newly designed trophy or memento, and their names will be included on the IBMA website with all other award recipients.

The new "Momentum Awards” were approved by The IBMA Board of Directors at their April 11-13 meeting in Nashville.  Another decision by the board will allow LIVE streaming of the annual awards ceremony and a proposal from Kentucky Educational Television to film Fan Fest for broadcast on PBS was approved – both contingent on sponsorship support and approval by the Executive Committee.

IBMA Momentum Awards are intended to encourage professionalism in bluegrass music among every generation. For more info, please contact the IBMA office at 888-GET-IBMA or info@ibma.org.

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