Benefit Auction & Philanthropy

 The Celebration Lutherie Education Fund (CLEF) supports harnessing the creation of stringed acoustic instruments with the making of music.  Thanks to the generous support of LRBaggs, Larrivee Guitars and Andrew White Guitars, in 2016 SBAIC raised and distributed $3,400 in travel sponsorship in order to help bring the finest acoustic teaching musicians and provide workshops to over 200 guitar players, including free clinics to students.

In 2017, our goal is to raise and grant $20,000 to:

  • pay for lessons of foster kids at CASA and visually impaired students;
  • buy guitars for every Notes for Notes studio around the county, providing FREE access to instruments and lessons for disadvantaged youth;
  • and help support travel and room expenses to bring you the finest luthiers and musicians coming to the show from around the world. In return, each of those recipients will make a contribution to the Pay It Forward Fund, as described below, to benefit their communities. 

The Celebration Lutherie Education Fund (CLEF) of the Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration will be auctioning two fine guitars, a “Halfling” made by Tom Ribbecke and a very nice Larrivee L-09, as well as an incredible 21 string Kora made by the 109th master player and luthier in her family in The Gambia, Sona Jobarteh.

Try out these fine instruments during SBAIC on Friday and Saturday, and bid on them at 7pm 8/26/17 on the Lobero esplanade before the David Lindley headliner concert.  All donations fully tax deductible.


The Pay It Forward Fund was founded by SBAIC and the LCollective with the intention of supporting individuals and organizations that have a heartfelt belief in the healing power of working with hands & music.


The Pay It Forward Fund is an information and resource center to encourage luthiers and musicians to share their passion and skills with individuals and organizations in their local or world-wide communities. Each grant from CLEF will be tracked with a Pay It Forward pledge so that each gift and the story that unfolds because of this generosity and spirit can be told in a continuing narrative of giving. The stories will be told via film, art, social media, word of mouth, and of course, music.


The first deposit in the bank will be from the LCollective to create an endowment.  Funds from the sale of The Legacy Trio will be donated to CLEF & the Pay It Forward Fund.  In return for supporting their hotel or travel expenses, each luthier and musician will make a pledge to the Pay It Forward Bank, sharing with us how they will use our subsidy to Pay It Forward in each of their communities, so that the growth and passion of fine lutherie and music continues.

Luthier pledges may be sharing luthier skills with novices, teaching apprentices, holding workshops, repairing damaged instruments, working with schools, veterans or those seeking to work with their hands to help themselves heal. Luthiers alternately may pledge to build a guitar to be donated to a gifted musician in need in order to take them to another level.  Musician pledges may be visiting schools, hospitals, clinics, youth centers and organizations to provide music to help people heal, or benefit concerts to raise funds for them.


As an example of the PIFB, we invite you to become a charter member of the Santa Barbara Acoustic Music Association ( and help create a community resource which will promote local year round acoustic music, education and lutherie activities to children and adults.

The primary objective will be to provide a forum to coordinate:

Acoustic Music via a calendar for the smaller venues, house concerts, promoters and non-profit benefits with an emphasis on coordinating central coast bookings of acoustic musicians in all genres

Music Education through local school & non-profit programs and private teachers to provide resources and opportunities to get into music.

Lutherie Education through lectures, local shop visits and workshops which will provide demonstrations on the science behind the creation of sound, concepts of instrument building & craftsmanship, and teaching the building of simple stringed instruments from common materials in the grade schools to more advanced instruments from precut kits in the middle schools. The modern renaissance of lutherie is truly an American story of invention and craftsmanship in need of preservation in a world of global fabrication.

Cooperation among promoters along the 101 corridor from LA to SLO so that house concerts and more can be coordinated for traveling musicians.

Share Your Passion through SBAIC from August 25-27, 2017 and SBAMA year round with local acoustic musicians, teachers and luthiers, and celebrate the healing power of music and working with hands.