The Bluegrass community has a long tradition of helping each other out, when needed.

We all know someone in the professional bluegrass music world impacted by hardship brought on through injury or illness. Thanks to the generous donations, the California Bluegrass Association (CBA) is now proud to launch the Bluegrass Entertainer Artist Relief (BEAR) Fund. This program is intended to provide interim emergency financial assistance to qualified artists and music professionals whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic illness or incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for a CBA BEAR Fund grant, the applicant must have been involved professionally in “American folk music”, including Bluegrass and Old-time, for a minimum of ten years and derive at least fifty-percent of their income from these activities. Professional activities include performing artists, songwriters, event promoters, luthiers and managers.


Is this only for CBA Members?

No. You don’t need to be a current member of CBA to be awarded a BEAR fund grant. Applications are accepted for people based throughout North America, but with priority to those in California or with deep California roots.


What is an “emergency”

An emergency is a one-time, unexpected condition resulting from illness, a sudden medical event or an accident that requires treatment to ensure your health, and which without treatment would have extreme impact on your daily life and ability to carry out your music profession.


Is there a deadline for application?

No. Emergency needs can happen at any time. Applications for BEAR fund grants may be submitted at any time and will be evaluated within 60 days of receipt.


How can I apply?

Contact All information will be held strictly confidential.


What criteria is used in awarding grants?

Grants to individuals are selected by the BEAR Fund Committee, and awarded in an objective and nondiscriminatory manner based on eligibility, financial need and available BEAR Fund budget.


How can I support the CBA BEAR Fund?

You can make a tax-deductible donation at Your contribution of any amount is appreciated, and will go directly toward helping deserving grant recipients.


Where can I learn more?

Contact us at