After an enriching 16-year run, the BMI Woody Guthrie Fellowship program has now concluded. We extend our gratitude to all who have contributed to the fellowship’s success and impact over the years. Your dedication has played a significant role in fostering creativity and artistic growth.

The Woody Guthrie Fellowship was an annual research program open to scholars pursuing topics or themes related to American folk music progenitor Woody Guthrie. First established in 2005, the program offered an unprecedented opportunity for in-depth exploration into the many facets of Guthrie’s life, legacy, and contribution to American and world culture.

A prolific singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Woody Guthrie was not only one of the most influential musicians in American history, but also one of the most prominent cultural activists of his generation. Much of his vast body of work advanced social commentary on democracy, human rights, and economic equality, epitomized by his folk classic “This Land Is Your Land.”

The BMI Foundation, in cooperation with the Woody Guthrie Center, annually awarded up to $5,000 for scholarly research at the extensive Woody Guthrie Archives, a paper-based research repository located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Archives currently house over 15,000 items—the largest collection of Woody Guthrie primary resource materials anywhere in the world—including Guthrie’s original songwriting notebooks, journals, manuscripts, photographs, correspondences, personal papers, scrapbooks, artwork, and audio recordings. Scholars pursuing research related to Guthrie’s life, historical context, creative works, and musical legacy, as well as his philosophical, political, or humanistic ideals, are encouraged to apply for this prestigious fellowship.

For 16 years, the program funded a variety of extensive research projects culminating in books, essays, lectures, curricula, public performances, artwork, and other classroom materials that illustrate Guthrie’s lasting cultural impact.


In order to be eligible for the Woody Guthrie Fellowship, all applicants must have had a project-based research topic that:

  • Leads to the creation of an original scholarly publication or product (i.e. book, article, etc.).
  • Is sufficiently extensive as to require a suggested minimum of two weeks of research at the Woody Guthrie Archives.

For more information, visit the BMI Foundation website.


  • Shelia M. Kennison, professor of psychology at Oklahoma State University (2021)
  • Justin Heath Krueger, assistant professor of social studies education, Delta State University (2021)
  • Stephen Moore, D. candidate, history, University of California, Riverside (2020)
  • Andy Teirstein, composer and professor of art, Newy York University (2020)
  • Michael Kramer, assistant professor of history, SUNY Brockport (2019)
  • Aimee Bobruk, artist (2019)
  • Liam Malloy, independent researcher, Nottingham, UK (2018)
  • Matthew D. Sutton, professor of English, East Tennessee State University (2017)
  • Jamie Fenton, Ph.D. candidate, American literature, University of Cambridge (2017)
  • Laura Hayden, author (2016)
  • Gustavus Stadler, professor of English, Haverford College (2015)
  • Christy J. Miller, musicology, University of Kansas (2015)
  • Will Andrews, lecturer, North Park Theological Seminary (2014)
  • William Kaufman, professor of American literature, University Central Lancashire, England (2014)
  • Mark Kissling, associate professor of education, Penn State University (2013)
  • Mark F. Fernandez, Patricia Carlin O’Keefe distinguished professor of history & chair of the department of history, Loyola University New Orleans (2012)
  • Michele Fazio, professor of English and coordinator of gender studies, University of North Carolina at Pembroke (2011)

Learn more more about past BMI Woody Guthrie Fellowship recipients and their projects.