In keeping with our by-laws, the FAR-West Executive Board is providing a written annual report to membership. The report can also be found at: http://www.far-west.org/2016-annual-report.html.
President's Report: The 13th Annual FAR-West Conference was held in Bellevue Washington on October 13-16, 2016 with almost 300 attendees. Thursday night kicked-off with the Venues’ Choice concert, where five local venues presented a favored artist. The conference continued with Private Guerilla Showcases on all three nights and a jam room lasting into the wee hours of the morning. The weekend also offered over twenty workshops and panels with information on hosting, touring, social media, musicianship, master class and sound engineering; afternoon performances in the Millsaps Memorial Coffeehouse; and a busy Networking Center. The Friday and Saturday Official Showcases presented twelve performances featuring artists chosen by a juried selection process. This year’s Best of the West honored Seattle Folklore Society with an organizational achievement award in recognition of 50 years of service preserving and fostering awareness and appreciation of folk and traditional arts in the Seattle area. The Ambassador award went to Peter McCracken and the Centrum Foundation. The Performer award went to Danny O’Keefe. The conference closed on Sunday afternoon with the third annual Storytelling Expo, featuring seven of the region’s best storytellers. Next year’s conference be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bellevue WA from October 5-8, 2017 and then will move to Southern California for 2018 and 2019.
Treasurer's Report: The 2016 conference income was just under $75,000 and expenses were just over $77,000. In addition, there were general operating expenses of about $5,000. The Board had approved a 2016 budget that recognized a slight negative balance due to planned conference activities that would be covered by general funds. In addition, FAR-West had donations of about $22,000 which include temporarily restricted funds that are designated for specific future conference and other uses.
Secretary's Report: FAR-West's official membership is determined by Folk Alliance membership. For 2016 it included the following representation by states, provinces and territories in our region: Alaska (10); California (160); Hawaii (0); Idaho (2); Montana (1); Nevada (3); Oregon (45); Utah (7); Washington (36); Wyoming (0); Northwest Territory (0); Yukon (2); Alberta (19); British Columbia (12). In addition, there are a large number of individuals across the region who attend FAR-West conferences but are not FAI members. We continue to make outreach efforts to under-represented parts of the region.
The FAR-West Best of the West (BOTW) Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Best of the West honorees. Nominations are solicited from the FAR-West community, with honorees in both the “Performer” and “Ambassador” categories. Nominations should include a brief summary of biographical information, accomplishments and website link. Please submit nominations via email by March 5, 2017 to Mark Kaufman: president_at_far-west.org (replace _at_ with @). Honorees are chosen by the FAR-West Board of Directors and will be announced later in the spring. The awards will be presented at the annual FAR-West conference in Bellevue, Washington on October 7, 2017. For more information about Best of the West, visit: http://www.far-west.org/botw2017.html
FAR-West: Who We Are & How You Can Help
Many of you know me (Jeanette Lundgren), either as a fan of quality indie music or as Mother Hen Promotions, or both. Some of you know me because I am on the FAR-West Board and have co-coordinated conferences since 2014. I have a passion for quality indie musicians who make good music, and this translates over to my support of FAR-West.
But what IS FAR-West? Well, first the FAR stands for Folk Alliance Region, and the West shows our location as the western region affiliate of the larger parent Folk Alliance international organization. As such we strive to foster and promote traditional, contemporary and multicultural folk music, dance, storytelling, and related performing arts in our Western Region. The word ‘folk’ should not be off-putting; to me the word ‘folk’ encompasses anything you can play or sing acoustically – whether it be song, story, or dance; whether it be traditional, contemporary, or historical.
Back in 2002, FAR-West was founded by a group of people who primarily lived in the greater Los Angeles area. They met on a monthly basis for about a year to address the issues, set some basic goals, write and approve bylaws, and do all the ground work to get the organization up and running. Many of you know the people who started FAR-West as they are still an integral part of the folk and music community in Los Angeles and on the west coast. A history of the early organization is here, so you can get up to speed on how and when we were formed.
FAR-West is governed by a Board made up of folks from CA, WA, OR, and NV. Our Region includes California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Alaska and Hawaii in the USA, and Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon and Northwest Territories in Canada. Our 2017 conference will take place in Bellevue, Washington for a second year, and then in 2018 and 2019, we will move back to the hotel in Los Angeles where our very first conference took place. In addition, the Board is currently looking to take bids for a hotel to host us in 2020 and 2021.
We are a strong organization, but in order to move forward we need more volunteers to join us and make us even stronger. We are currently taking nominations for the FAR-West Board of Directors. We are a working board within an all volunteer organization which expects Board members to assume a leadership role in some aspect of the conference and year-round operations of the organization. Here is a listing of criteria for the type of people we would love to join us. Time-wise, we “meet” on an evening phone call every other month or so. If you are interested in joining us, please send your name and email address to Janet Dukes, FAR-West Secretary, at <email@example.com>. FAR-West Board members must maintain current membership in Folk Alliance. Nominated candidates will be contacted to verify their willingness to serve if elected and to submit a short statement of qualifications, skills and a brief bio. Nominations will close on March 1. Voting will open on March 20 and continue until April 20. Current members of Folk Alliance listed as affiliated with FAR-West will receive ballots. In order to vote in the election, you must be a current member of Folk Alliance (you can update your FAI membership here: http://www.folk.org/).
In addition, Janet Dukes and I, as co-coordinators of the 2017 conference, are looking for people to take on some of the open roles in our conference organizing committee known as Movers & Shakers: specifically coordinators for our Networking Center, Volunteer Organizer, Publicity, and a Registration assistant. All positions come with training and support from the FAR-West Board, the conference coordinators, and the other Movers and Shakers. Basic requirements include attendance at the conference, participation on conference calls with other Movers and Shakers to plan, and a few hours more (mainly online) to coordinate, schedule and confirm. Both Janet and I are prepared to be available to answer questions and provide support as needed. In addition, the Movers and Shakers meet on phone calls monthly starting in March and more often as we get closer to the conference.
FAR-West 2017 will be held in Bellevue, Washington for the second year in a row, from October 5-8, and we are already very excited about it.
We held a very successful conference at the Hyatt in Bellevue in 2016 and will do many of the same things again this year. Late night PGS (Private Guerilla Showcases) will be hostedon one or two hotel floors. The Thursday evening Venues Choice Concert and The Official (juried) Showcases on Friday and Saturday evenings will again be presented on our main stage. We will have panels and workshops throughout the weekend. The Best of the West luncheon will be held on Saturday afternoon, and on Friday, we will again hold a late afternoon welcome reception. On Sunday, we will host our 4th Annual Storytelling Expo as well as master classes, and Breakfast with the Board. It has become tradition to hold an open mic at a respected venue on the Wednesday evening prior to the conference, and 2017 will be no different. We also invite our attendees to stick around on Sunday afternoon, both to enjoy the Storytelling Expo and to jam with us as we end the conference. And though many of the aspects of our conference will remain the same, there are some parts where we are considering changes.
As co-coordinators, Janet and I are volunteers too, with families and day jobs and pets who need us. We are also board members with responsible positions (Vice President and Secretary). We cannot provide the same high quality conference that we have come to appreciate and expect without a roster of strong volunteers.
Here is a list of our Mover & Shaker positions: http://www.far-west.org/organizers2017.html. The open positions are left blank. Please review this list, find something that matches your interest or skills, and then sign on to help us out (even if a position looks filled already – it’s nice to have a team involved). Call a friend and volunteer for a position together (like we did). Being involved in putting this conference together is one of the most rewarding things each of us has ever done; we’ve made lifelong friends and working relationships. Please contact either Jeanette or Janet if you have any questions about what you can be involved with. We hope to have this team assembled by the end of February and look forward to hearing from you.
One thing to know about FAR-West … we are a friendly group of people who love music and want to help musicians from all over to network, learn and make new contacts and friendships within our region. We’d love for you to join us.
Are you looking to get more involved with the 2017 FAR-West Conference in Bellevue? Would you like to be one of the "Movers and Shakers" that help make things happen? If so, then Jeanette Lundgren and Janet Dukes, Conference Co-Coordinators, are looking for you!
We are currently looking for coordinators for the Networking Center and to manage Volunteers. Both positions come with training and support from the FAR-West Board, the conference coordinators, and the other Movers and Shakers. Basic requirements include attendance at the conference, participation on conference calls with other Movers and Shakers to plan, and a few hours more (mainly online) to coordinate, schedule and confirm.
Janet is also looking for someone to help with registration. The person wouldn’t be responsible for all of the registration process, but would provide backup for Janet, assisting with some of the online questions, and being available for assistance during the conference. Ideally, this position could be transferred to a new "registration queen"” (or King!) for future conferences.
Been (patiently) waiting for the Winter 2017 issue of Storytelling Magazine from the National Storytelling Network to be published/available so we could share this article about FAR-West 2016 by Mary Anne Moorman together with the 2016 Storytelling Expo Playlist on our YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/2hwYkfb
Thank you to Ruth Bly for being our videographer for this event, to Mary Anne for organizing it in conjunction with the Seattle Storytellers Guild and Janet Thompson for working with us to include this article. You can purchase the physical magazine at http://www.storynet.org/
Many thanks to those 2016 conference attendees who were able to complete the conference evaluation survey. We said that we would provide a report to attendees about the results and other related conference information. If you are interested, you can view the report at: http://www.far-west.org/
Also, the report notes that the board reviewed open positions for the 2017 conference planning committee and identified several key positions that need to be filled including: Volunteer Coordinator, Best of the West Coordinator, and Networking Center (either overall coordination or on-site only) coordinator. FAR-West needs your volunteer support! So, if you are interested in any of these positions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be contacted by one of the 2017 conference coordinators.
Regards from The FAR-West Board!
Who were Roz & Howard Larman? Roz and Howard Larman were simply the heart and soul of West Coast folk, the music, the scene, its very presence. Their Pacifica radio show ran over 40 years and presented practically everyone in folk-roots-singer-songwriter music, from legends like Tom Paxton, Loudon Wainwright, Jackson Browne, Kate Wolf, Tom Waits and the McGarrigles, to genre-crossers like Peter Case, Dave Alvin and Lucinda Williams, to relative newcomers like Antje Duvekot, Dar Williams, the DittyBops, and hundreds more. Their blessing could, in a single stroke, engender unshakable credibility in artists whose "folkiness" could be considered marginal or tenuous. Indeed, as was uttered more than a few times, if Roz liked it, "it was folk". Roz & Howard were also founding members of FAR-West, attending every meeting of the founding committee. In addition, they were former recipients of the FAR-West "Best of the West" Ambassador award. They were on numerous panels and workshops at our early conferences, and also served on the Showcase Selection committee for many years.
As part of the FAR-West Partnership with KC Cafe Radio, they (John Dutton, Kathleen Coleman, and Kathy Forste) live streamed and recorded our Venues' Choice Concert on Thursday, Oct 13th, the Friday (Oct 14th) and Saturday (Oct 15th) Official Showcases and our Best of the West Award luncheon on Saturday, Oct 15th. In addition, they did two interviews while in the Networking Center, and took pictures all throughout the conference. All of these are included at this link in case you would like to revisit our 2016 conference, or for those of you who were unable to attend.
In addition, you can re-visit the 2015 conference via KC Cafe Radio's coverage at this link.