Scholarship Funds

We have multiple scholarship funds to help community members attend our conference. Learn more about them below. 

Elaine Weissman Scholarship for First Time Conference Attendees

Named after FAI’s founding member, our First-Time Conference Attendee scholarships offset the conference registration costs of over 100 artists and industry professionals. The cumulative award amount is over $100,000 every year.

Thank you to our Elaine Weissman Scholarship fund donors for Fiscal Year 20-21:







Bob Kay

Carolyn Andre

Celene and Geof Lyon

Cydney and Keith Perske

Deidre Finnan

Denise Stiff

Ginger Roots Agency

Joan Athey

Joan Kornblith

Kelly Hart

Lee Herman

Lisa Schwartz

Madeliene Janis

Mark Fernandez

Mark Levine

Micahel Kaiz

Michael Varner

Paul Demmitt

Pete and Julie Browne

Phil Collins

Phyllis Barney

Rachel Barreca

Red Grape Music (UK)

Reid Wick

Richard Willits

Sara H. White

Stephen Garvan

Terry Mutchler

V&P Productions, LLC

Mike Seeger Scholarship for Traditional Artists

Created in memory of Mike Seeger, a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers and. Mike Seeger, recipient of a 2004 Folk Alliance International Lifetime Achievement Award, was a legendary traditional music teacher and performer who worked tirelessly to keep people connected with the roots of folk music throughout North America.

The Mike Seeger Scholarship covers the registration cost of a traditional musician to attend the FAI conference each year. This fund is overseen by FAI’s staff.

Thank you to our Mike Seeger Scholarship fund donors for Fiscal Year 20-21:


Mary Katherine Aldin

Gene Shay Scholarship for Emerging Folk DJ’s

Gene Shay is frequently referred to as the “Dean of Folk DJs.” His career spanned more than five decades on six different radio stations in the Philadelphia market, most recently at WXPN, where he did his final Sunday night folk show on February 1, 2015. Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Phil Ochs, and Tom Waits are just a few of the artists he interviewed early in their careers, a tradition that he’s continued with today’s best artists.

He was present at the creation of Folk Alliance International, and he was given FAI’s first Folk DJ lifetime achievement award. Above all, he has been a friend and mentor to countless artists and DJs.

In his honor, the Gene Shay Scholarship has been established to send a Folk DJ for the first time to the Folk Alliance International conference. The award will include complimentary registration courtesy of FAI, plus hotel accommodations and at least a portion of travel costs. This award is managed by a coalition of current folk DJs.

Thank you to our Gene Shay Scholarship fund donors for Fiscal Year 20-21:

Wayne Greene

Indigenous Scholarship

As a part of FAI’s commitment to serving Indigenous communities, the Indigenous Scholarship covers expenses of Indigenous performers in order to remove barriers from their ability to participate in the annual conference. Folk Alliance International donates the full cost of a registration to this fund and the remaining funding is used for travel and hotel expenses of the performer.

This fund is administered by Indigenous leaders within FAI’s membership.

Thank you to our Indigenous Scholarship fund donors for Fiscal Year 20-21:

FAI Folk Chart Fund

FAI actively manages the FAI Folk Charts in order to quantify the impact of the work of radio programmers and give artists a way of tracking their reach and influence.

The intent of these charts is to ensure the development of a broader network of folk music listeners, brokers, supporters, and fans and creating a stronger feedback mechanism to support artists and managers in strategic tour and marketing planning.

Your donation goes directly to the costs to administer the charts.