From the President
Dear AFMC Colleagues:
If your life revolves around the school calendar (as Federation certainly does), summer vacation is almost over. It’s time to get new organizational tools—folders, calendars, planners, etc…and to start laying the foundation for a productive 2019-2020 season of music presentations, concerts and lectures. As you make your program plans, keep in mind that the most important programs we should all include are: Parade of American Music (November); Founder’s Day (be sure to collect an offering from each member, to be sent to Jimmie Sinquefield, which benefits the Young Artist fund); and National Music Week, the first full week in May. There are plenty of other program ideas generated by the reports we are encouraged to complete, but these are our minimum goals.
For Shelly Brown (Junior Festival Chair) and Jimmie Sinquefield (Treasurer), this has been a summer of travel on your behalf. The NFMC Convention was in Jacksonville, FL. Our hotel was right on the river, with a lovely view. But while it was 90 degrees at home, it was 70 or less in Florida, as we had rain everyday. Not what we expected, but the Convention was informative and inspiring. Highlights of the week were the Dinner Theater where we saw “The Little Mermaid” with a strong dance team, professional singers and actors, and beautiful costumes. Each night featured wonderful concerts, but of course what everyone was waiting for was the night the new selection of Young Artists were announced. As usual, they did not disappoint. We will be bringing the cellist for an Arkansas tour in mid September—details to follow. Not only is Alex a very fine musician, but his unique personality makes his performance intimate and entertaining. We were lucky to get to book him first, as he is headed to Europe just after our week, and there were others who were anxious to make plans with him, as well.
As you know, our Eine Kleine Licht du Muzik project (A Little Music Light) was a great success. The L.E.D. lights from Mighty Bright were delivered to the OIO Orchestra just in time for opening. They are thrilled with the lights, and said so many times, publicly thanking AFMC for the gift.
Plans are moving forward for a new, state-of-the-art performance hall at Inspiration Point near Eureka Springs. I hope you will consider attending OIO next summer—you will want to have experienced the Point in its current iteration before the new facility is built, so you have a real appreciation for the change.
Speaking of Opera in the Ozarks, I surely hope I can report, next summer, that we have 100% participation of our clubs and districts with donations to OIO. The cost of that summer program and camp maintenance is just short of $400,000. Can you believe it? They depend on donations and tickets for funding. The income as reported during Federation Days was a little less than the needed amount. Since all sales had not been tallied, we are hopeful about at least breaking even. To do our part, we need each and every club to pay their nominal membership fee of $25, and to pay the district fees so that each district can also make a donation. (There were two out of five.) Anything over the $25 membership will go to the general fund, unless designated for scholarships.
So you can see that the membership fee is merely the beginning—it is the very least we must do for this wonderful program, one of five such summer programs operated by NFMC.
Just a nudge: as our AFMC Conference is just a few weeks away, don’t wait to send in your reservation. We have some important things to consider. This is what I hope you will discuss within your clubs and within your districts:
Would we benefit by making our conventions bi-annual rather than annual?
In polling officers from other states (at the NFMC Convention), we learned that a good number already have conventions on alternate years with the NFMC Convention. In other words, the NFMC Convention is held in odd numbered years (2019, 2021), and the state conventions are held in even years (2020). We are on target with the upcoming state convention in Eureka Springs, next May 15/16, to begin this method. Actually it is a strategy to save money (national guest speakers are the largest cost to the state), and to relieve the districts of the financial burden that comes around every five years. In addition, it is our hope that more people would be interested in coming to the AFMC Convention if it was held every two years—perhaps more members would be willing to adjust their springtime commitments if they didn’t have to do it every year. So please do give this careful thought. All of the elements, such as Junior Day, etc. can be worked out.
At the AFMC Conference, on September 14, we will also have some breakout sessions for your benefit. Ben Winn, from Eureka Springs, will be with us, not only to invite you to the mountains in May, but to lead a discussion on fundraising ideas. No longer are we able to depend on the generosity of a few wealthy members to meet the needs of each club’s responsibilities and program costs. We need to “think outside the box” to keep our communities aware of us, and to raise funds that can be used to benefit music programs at home and in the state. In addition, we will orient new presidents to reporting, and treasurers to exactly what, when, and why our dues and fees are necessary.
As you can see, your presence at the AFMC Conference is very important. Register now, and then call your treasurer and ask him/her to join you. You will receive a lot of bang for your buck and a lovely Saturday in Little Rock.
Senior Club Presidents: Be sure to share this invitation not only with your club treasurer, but also with anyone else in your club who would like to attend—particularly your Junior Festival coordinator.
Vicki Carr, President
Arkansas Federation of Music Clubs