$10K Grant Awarded to Banjo Museum!

imageThe American Banjo Museum was recently awarded a grant for $10,000 from the Kirkpatrick Family Fund to establish a Banjo Learning Lounge at the museum.

“We’re honored to receive this generous grant from the Kirkpatrick Family Fund,” said Johnny Baier, executive director, American Banjo Museum. “The Kirkpatrick Family Fund’s legacy of supporting the arts and education is inspiring and we’re proud to be part of it.”

The Museum plans to refurbish the current front west side area of the building to become a fully developed “hands on” interactive educational exhibit called the Banjo Learning Lounge. Interactive videos will include banjo history as well as short video lessons designed for visitors to ultimately play a song on various banjo types including tenor, five-string, guitar banjo and ukulele banjo. The Banjo Learning Lounge will give museum goers a chance to hold, play and experience the instruments that are on display.

The Kirkpatrick Family Fund was founded by John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick in 1989 and is the largest affiliated fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. The mission of the Fund is to invest in ideas and leadership that contribute to and advance the cultural, intellectual, and social interests of the communities it supports. The organization remains committed to adhering to the priorities and guiding principles of its founders through the leadership of Trustee and President, Christian K. Keesee, the grandson of John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick.

At the American Banjo Museum, the artistry that goes into crafting highly ornate instruments and the skill and talent that goes into playing them is on full display. The American Banjo Museum brings history and art together in a song hundreds of years in the making.

For more information on upcoming events, or to become a member of the American Banjo Museum, visit americanbanjomuseum.com or call at (405) 604-2793.


The American Banjo Museum is a $5 million, world-class 21,000 square foot facility honoring the rich history, vibrant spirit and unlimited future of the banjo. The museum’s collection contains more than 400 instruments, recordings, film, video, printed music, instructional materials, ephemera and memorabilia associated with the banjo.

The museum contains the largest collection in the world of banjos on public display. Galleries include replicas of primitive banjos developed by African slaves, actual Minstrel Age instruments from mid-19th century, Classic Era banjos from the late 1800s and early 1900s, post WWII instruments used in bluegrass, folk and world music. Much of the museum’s core collection is ornately decorated banjos made in American during the Jazz Age of the 1920s and 30s.

Originally located in Guthrie, Oklahoma, the museum was founded as a non-profit organization in 1998 by Midwest City attorney, Brady Hunt and Indiana industrialist, Jack Canine under its previous name, The National Four-String Banjo Hall of Fame Museum. Canine, a banjo player and enthusiast, stated his belief that preserving and promoting the history of the banjo, America’s adopted native musical instrument, is an important mission for future generations.

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