Our Mission

The Americana Music Association® is a professional trade organization whose mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American Roots Music around the world.


How Our Mission
Is Accomplished

The Americana Music Association® works closely with those in our industry, whether artists, labels, radio stations, retailers, print media, festivals, agents, publishers, etc. to help organize and build the infrastructure necessary for our genre to achieve success both creatively and financially.

To that end we conduct an ongoing publicity campaign to help brand and raise awareness of Americana, host the annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, publish the weekly Americana Airplay Chart, produce the annual Americana Music Honors & Awards show, participate in other industry events and conferences, produce member newsletters and marketing materials, conduct research about our industry and consumers, work to increase Americana’s profile at retail, and serve as an advocate on behalf of Americana’s interests.

We also focus on creating attention for the public profile of Americana. These efforts to enhance the general awareness of Americana take the form of projects that increase general visibility and help brand the genre – all with the ultimate goal of connecting artists to an appreciative audience.

The Americana Music Association® works behind the scenes within the music industry to foster an environment for growth: building infrastructure, creating networking opportunities, establishing channels that allow professional entities to work effectively and efficiently. Working smarter – not just harder – means achievement of greater success for the greatest number of participants.

Considered together, this range of objectives fosters an environment and encourages long-term growth, creating continually expanding opportunities at artistic as well as financial levels. Some of these efforts have direct impact and produce immediate, visible results. Some are indirect or ongoing in their nature, and may take much longer to bear fruit or prove their value. All are important, as we’re in this for the long haul.

Association History


Humble Beginnings

In the late 1990’s, a group of about 30 volunteers from radio, record labels and media met informally at the South by Southwest music industry conference in Austin, Texas, to discuss collective action that could help the Americana community, including the possibility of a trade association. A facilitated retreat in October 1999 galvanized the idea, and the Americana Music Association was born.

Americana Night

Early the following year, the Association hosted its first annual Americana Night at South by Southwest, and then in September 2000, the Americana Music Association held its first convention at the Hilton Suites in downtown Nashville, featuring showcase performances by Sam Bush, Rhonda Vincent, Rodney Crowell, and Jim Lauderdale.

Honors & Awards

The Americana Honors and Awards were added to the convention in year three, and the evening proved moving and historic. Americana icons Emmylou Harris, Billy Joe Shaver, and T Bone Burnett were given lifetime achievement awards for performing, songwriting, and executive achievement, respectively. After much behind-the-scenes planning, the audience was treated to a surprise performance by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash with members of the Cash family. Johnny accepted the AMA’s first-ever “Spirit of Americana” Free Speech Award with a stunning recitation of his song-poem “Ragged Old Flag,” and then, despite his failing health, he and June led their family band through a set of songs that reached back through time. It turned out to be the last public performance the Cash’s would ever give together.


Jed HIlly

Executive Director

Danna Strong

Director of Education &
Programs / Conference Producer

Craig Shelburne

Festival Producer

Michele Rhoades

Radio Development

Destiny McGregor

Manager of Sales and Events

David Chamberlain

Marketing & Media Relations

Clara Keen

Conference Manager

Tara Clark

Administrative Coordinator


Kim Buie, President

President of the Board

Emily Cohen

Amazon Music

Gail Gellman

Gellman Management

Tracy Gershon

Northern Lights Music Publishing

Courtney Gregg

Blue Sky Artist Management

Lenore Kinder

Wasserman Music

Mike Kopp

Kopp Management / Arts
Advocate / Political Consultant

Jackie Marushka

Marushka Media

Gina Miller

MNRK Music

Mark Moffatt


Allison Russell


Shannon Sanders


Lynne Sheridan, Secretary

GRAMMY® Museum

John Strohm

Frost Brown Todd Attorneys

Kurt Vitolo, Treasurer

KV Financial Group

Andrea von Foerster

Firestarter Music

Bruce Warren

WXPN, Philadelphia/NPR

Megan West

Meta, Inc.

Jody Whelan

Oh Boy Records

Rachel Whitney


Brian Greenbaum