JAM Honors Community Leader
Independence, VA — For the past six years, Anthony Edwards of Galax, Virginia, has dedicated countless hours to Junior Appalachian Musicians, an organization with a mission close to his heart. Better known locally as JAM, the nonprofit parent organization provides communities with the tools and support they need to teach children to play and dance to traditional old time and bluegrass music. More than 50 after school programs are located across the four-state region of Virginia, North Carolina,South Carolina and Tennessee. Locally, JAM programs serve children in Galax, Floyd, Franklin, Bland, Wythe, Smyth, Montgomery, and many other counties along The Crooked Road.
Edwards, who is a Vice President in Credit Administration at Skyline National Bank, has chaired the Board of Directors for JAM, Inc. since 2014. Working alongside Executive Director Brett Morris and the regionally-based board, Edwards has led the organization in strategic planning and growth, as well as sustainable expansion. Under this leadership, the number of JAM programs has expanded more than 50% to a current number of 55.
Edwards has not let his hard work and community involvement end with JAM. He also serves as President of the Twin County Chamber of Commerce since 2018, in addition to raising a family and winning guitar ribbons at area fiddlers conventions. Edwards is also a proud UNC-Greensboro alum.
JAM announced on June 17, 2020 at their annual Board of Directors meeting that Edwards would take a step back to allow for new vitality within the organization’s structure. The nonprofit welcomes Gina Dilg of Radford, Virginia as the new Chair of the JAM Board of Directors. Dilg is not only a traditional musician, dancer and educator, but works in marketing and design for cultural tourism at the Floyd Country Store, Handmade Music School, and County Sales, among other ventures. Edwards will continue as Treasurer.
The organization is dedicated to continuing to provide opportunities for children to participate in old time and bluegrass music and dance traditions, even during COVID-19. Although many musical events organized by JAM have been postponed for the time being, the Board of Directors and staff has been developing innovative ways to keep young pickers engaged, holding true to their motto of Building Community – One Tune at a Time. Please visit www.jamkids.org for more information, and keep up with JAM news on Facebook.