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JAM believes

that children who are actively engaged in traditional mountain music are more connected and better prepared to strengthen their communities for future generations.

We envision

a world in which all children have the opportunity to experience community through the joy of participating in traditional mountain music together.

Our mission

is to provide communities with the support and tools they need to teach children to play and dance to traditional old time and bluegrass music.

What’s Happening in the JAM World

JAM, Inc Gains New Board Members

Junior Appalachian Musicians, Inc, also known as Regional JAM, of Independence, has recently approved two new directors to its board. Galax resident, Anthony Edwards, and Galax native, Ron McFarlane, have volunteered their talents and time to the JAM, Inc Board of Directors. Both men are avid guitar players and lovers of traditional music. JAM, Inc serves as a regional organization for the twenty-two JAM programs for youth in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The JAM program model is based on the non profit’s vision that every child in the Southern Appalachian region should have access to the joy of participating in the music of their heritage.

Both musicians bring a wide variety of skills to share with the organization in addition to their love of old time and bluegrass music. Edwards, a Commerical Credit Analyst and Banking Officer at Grayson National Bank, will be providing his services as Treasurer. McFarlane, Chief Operating Officer of MedPro Rx, Inc, plans to help JAM, Inc with promotion and fundraising. McFarlane lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, Mayor Nancy McFarlane.

The Board of Directors of Junior Appalachian Musicians, Inc invests their time throughout the year in fundraising efforts and overall management of the non-profit. Edwards and McFarlane are only adding to the array of talent that already exists on the board. Specializations of members include law, curriculum development, evaluation, folklore, Appalachian studies, music, dance, festival promotion, teaching and filmmaking. JAM, Inc not only provides services, resources and supplies to JAM program affiliates, but offers consultative services to communities developing JAM programs, a standards-based curriculum about Appalachian music for public school teachers, and much more.

We are so tickled to have these two new members on the JAM, Inc Board of Directors!

JAM, Inc Receives NEA Grant

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced on April 23 that Junior Appalachian Musicians, Inc. (JAM, Inc.) is one of 817 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant.

JAM, Inc is recommended for a $20,000 grant to support current and future JAM programs throughout the Southern Appalachian region.

JAM, Inc’s Connect project will enhance and promote traditional musical programs through outreach to school systems and civic organizations by convening meetings to introduce the program to new communities.

The organization will also be offering workshops to instructors, developing teaching aids and producing promotional material. The JAM program model, currently in 22 communities throughout Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, provides instruction in traditional music and dance to youth. It began in 2000 in Alleghany County, N.C. as an after-school program by traditional musician and guidance counselor Helen White.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States,” said Shigekawa. “Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable opportunities for the public to engage with the arts.”

“The National Endowment for the Arts has a remarkable history of supporting Folk and Traditional Arts, while it also seeks out and welcomes innovation in the arts from aspiring organizations,” said Edward Baker, newly appointed president and executive director of JAM, Inc. “We are truly honored to receive this grant.”

In August 2012, the NEA received 1,547 eligible applications for Art Works grants requesting more than $80 million in funding. Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

The 817 recommended NEA grants total $26.3 million and span 13 artistic disciplines and fields. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff, and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, visit the NEA website at

Meet JAM, Inc’s New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Junior Appalachian Musicians, Inc is pleased to announce the appointment of Ed Baker as President and Executive Director. Ed succeeds Helen White who held the position since JAM’s incorporation in 2008. Helen will continue to be involved with JAM and has assumed the title of Founder and Senior Advisor.

Ed retired to Ashe County, NC in 2007 when he and his wife, CarolAnn, a clinical social worker, built a home on the New River. Since moving to the mountains, Ed has been involved in several organizations in a volunteer capacity. He is currently President of the Ashe County Schools Endowment Fund Board, Treasurer of the Ashe County Free Medical Clinic, and he chairs the Ambassador Program for the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce. In addition, his Chamber activities also include membership on a committee of retired business executive who provide free consulting advice to start-up and struggling small businesses.

Prior to retirement, Ed held numerous management positions associated with the non-profit sector. These have included:

Educational Leadership
-Head of School, West Nottingham Academy, Colora, MD
-Director of Advancement and Long-Range Planning, George School, Newton, PA

Non-profit Consulting and Fundraising
-Regional Vice President for Global Impact, an alliance of 52 US based charities whose focus is international relief and development
-Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Grenzenbach Glier and Associates, Inc, a fundraising firm
-Founding Partner, The Franklin Group, providing consulting services to independent schools related to board development, strategic planning, capital fundraising and volunteer training

Corporate Management
-Executive Director, Family Central Enterprise Corporation, Jefferson, NC

Although not a musician himself, Ed is a long-time fan of old country music and has a deep appreciation for traditional mountain music and the role it plays in community building.

Ed, welcome aboard! The staff and Board of Directors at JAM, Inc are thrilled to have you step out of retirement to take the helm.


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