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The International Bluegrass Music Museum Becomes Truly International

By Mandolin Cafe
August 31, 2006 - 8:15 am

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International Bluegrass Music Museum - Owensboro, Kentucky

International Bluegrass Music Museum - Owensboro, Kentucky

Owensboro, Kentucky - Tens of millions of people worldwide now call themselves bluegrass fans, and 75 nations report having professional bluegrass bands indigenous to their countries. As worldwide interest in bluegrass music rapidly escalates, the International Bluegrass Music Museum is implementing multilingual signage in seven major languages. The front door welcomes visitors in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Czech and Japanese.

Other signs throughout the museum translate information for foreign guests, and the Museum's Self-Guided Tour has been translated into Japanese and Czech in its entirety. Translations for the other languages are in the works. In keeping with IBMM's mission to make bluegrass music accessible to a global fan base, the museum seeks to be more hospitable to its international visitors and enhance their experience.

This project, long in the planning stages, was given a major boost when Leslie Hast, a summer intern at the museum, volunteered to spearhead its implementation. Ms. Hast, a junior English major at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, has studied both Spanish and French. Two Centre professors, David Slade and Karin Ciholas, advised Hast on the Spanish, French, German and Italian translations. Toru and Ikuko Okuno of Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa-Prii provided the Japanese translations, and Olomouc resident Vendula Jaburkova, translator for the Czech Republic's bluegrass band Hermanek, supplied the Czech translations.

At ROMP, the museum's annual mega-bluegrass celebration held the last weekend in June, five international bands were among 42 featured acts: Hermanek (Czech Republic), Bluegrass 45 (Japan), The Abrams Brothers (Ontario), The Kruger Brothers (natives of Switzerland), and John Reischman & The Jaybirds (British Columbia).

Also during ROMP, the museum opened a new exhibit-- "The History of Bluegrass in Europe and Japan." Part I showcases bluegrass publications, posters, and other paper memorabilia from all over the world in many languages; visitors follow a narrative that describes how bluegrass music reached all corners of the globe. In this cumulative three-year exhibit, Part #II will focus on international bluegrass festivals, and Part #III will feature bluegrass instruments from around the world. Each new addition to the exhibit will open at ROMP.

A website translation into seven different languages is in the works. Keep checking the IBMM website for updates.

Additional information:
Mike Lawing: (270) 926-7891
Gabrielle Gray, IBMM Executive Director

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