Beginning in December of 2018, IBMA’s Board of Directors formed the Awards Task Force to complete a full review of the association’s awards structure. It was the first such review conducted in several years. An updated Awards Handbook was issued last year and changes were primarily focused on our Music, Industry, and Momentum Awards. This year, the Awards Task Force has addressed the eligibility, criteria, and process for IBMA’s Distinguish Achievement Award and the IBMA Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.
IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award - Each year the Distinguished Achievement Awards Selection Committee will choose to recognize one individual within each of the following four categories. The Selection Committee may opt to choose two award recipients in the General category.
- Music - performing artists, musical groups, songwriters, side/session musicians
- Media - authors, journalists (print and/or electronic), broadcasters (radio, television, podcast, internet, etc.), photographers, videographers, graphic designers
- Business - promoters, publicists, music publishers, booking agents, managers, record labels, producers, recording engineers, sound reinforcement, luthiers
- General - international organizers, association leaders, historians, folklorists, friends of the music, philanthropists, arts administrators, educators (music teachers, instructional programs, workshops, camps, online lessons, etc.) and other innovators and contributors
IBMA Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame - Each year the Hall of Fame Panel of Electors will choose to recognize two individuals or performing groups in the Open Category and one induction in either the Early Contributor Category OR the Non-Performer Category. Only people or performing groups are eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame. Companies, institutions, publications, radio stations, and other organizations – many of which significantly foster bluegrass music – are not eligible for Hall of Fame recognition.
- Open Category - Two inductions are selected annually for the Hall of Fame Open Category. Eligible candidates may be living or deceased and may include performing artists, bands, and industry professionals.
- Early Contributor Category - One induction is selected during odd-numbered years for the Hall of Fame Early Contributor Category. Eligible candidates may be living or deceased and should include performing artists, bands, and industry professionals who first came to prominence at least 50 years prior to the induction year.
- Non-Performer Category - One induction is selected during even-numbered years for the Hall of Fame Non-Performer Category. Eligible candidates may be living or deceased and should include those whose primary contributions to bluegrass music are apart from performing.
We strongly encourage you to read through the Awards Handbook to become familiar with the entire awards process, including any changes made. The guidelines in the new handbook will be enforced beginning with this year’s election process.