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Louis Jay Meyers 1955 - 2016
The entire music community was shocked and saddened to learn of Louis Jay Meyers passing on Friday, March 11, 2016. Louis served as the Executive Director of Folk Alliance International from 2005 – 2014 and as Special Projects Coordinator in 2015. Under Louis’ leadership FAI grew substantially and became financially solvent. He oversaw the move of FAI’s headquarters from Memphis to Kansas City and launched the Winter Music Camp and Music Fair. Louis was a co-founder of SXSW prior to his role with FAI. In all roles he was a tireless champion for musicians, especially emerging artists.
He attended this year’s conference where he caught up with friends, laughed with many, and played banjo as often as he could.
Several FAI Board members, staff, and friends joined his family for a graveside funeral in Austin, Texas, on March 14, followed by receptions, concerts, and celebrations held in various cities since then.
The meeting also marked a farewell to retiring Directors (David Hirshland and Anya Siglin) and the introduction of the newly elected members of the Board (incumbents Michelle Conceison, Ralph Jaccodine, Joan Kornblith, Lisa Schwartz, and two first-time Directors, Deana McCloud and Matt Sever).
Recent appointments to the Board include lou DeMarco and Alka Sharma, as well as the reappointment of Donald Davidoff.
For bios on each Director and identification of the Executive Committee please visit www.folk.org/board.
The following are new Directors who are serving for the first time:
Founder, Momentary Love Management
Term End: 2018
Executive Director, Woody Guthrie Center
Term End: 2019
Artist, Matt the Electrician
Term End: 2019
Executive Director, Folk Music Ontario
Ottawa, ON, Canada
Term End: 2018
Lifetime Achievement Award Videos Online
FAI Board Member Tim McFadden presents a 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award to Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Photo by Jake Jacobson
Each year FAI commissions a video to accompany the presentation of the Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards for a living recipient, a memorial recipient, and an active organization.
There were a number of years where videos were not commissioned for the recipients. FAI has now begun to retroactively fill in this gap, choosing to start with the 1995 recipient video for the late Pete Seeger.
Special thanks to Nadia O’Bryan and Scott Alarik for their wonderful research, production and narration of these annual treasures.
All past Lifetime Achievement Award winners and videos can be viewed on our website.
The Folk Store Has Closed
After a careful assessment of its business viability, FAI decided to close its Kansas City retail space, The Folk Store. The closure enables staff to better allocate resources towards charitable mission-specific work including continued support of local events and community gatherings as well as national and international outreach and advocacy.
The Folk Alliance International office continues to operate from this 509 Delaware Street location.
Survey & Results
Conference attendee feedback is deeply appreciated and informs many of the decisions the staff make in refining the event annually.
All attendees of the 2016 conference were sent a survey link to provide feedback on their experience at this year’s event. A complimentary 2017 conference registration will be awarded to one randomly selected respondent. The survey closes Sunday, April 17 at midnight.
A summary of the survey results as well as in-depth registrant data will be available in the May newsletter and will be posted online.
IMPORTANT...Save the (Earlier) Dates
The 29th annual FAI conference will be held February 15-19, 2017 (Kansas City, MO). All future years and known dates are listed on the about page of the FAI website.
Early Bird Registration opens a month earlier this year: Dates to register are June 1st - August 30 at the member-discounted rate of $250 US.
Official Showcase applications open 2 weeks earlier this year. Despite closing applications at the standard date we intend to provide earlier notice for all artists in response to requests for more lead time for tour routing, fundraising, and planning. Dates to apply are June 15 - October 3
Interning at Folk Alliance
Applications are now open for both 2016 summer and fall internships at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, MO.
We are pleased to provide paid internship opportunities as on the-job training, course-related practical experience, and professional development for college students who are interested in the music industry, folk music community, and arts administration.
An FAI internship is primarily focused on support of the day-to-day operations of the organization, with primary activity related to membership, marketing, research, and event planning.
Interns are supervised and supported by FAI staff. For more information, and to apply, please visit our website at www.folk.org/internships.
FAI is an equal-opportunity employer and values diversity in the workplace.
The next regional conference is SERFA and takes place May 19-22 at the Montreat Conference Center in Montreat, NC. For registration information visit: www.serfa.org.
Official Showcase applications are currently open for FAR-West (deadline is April 30), NERFA (deadline is June 1) and FARM (deadline is May 31).
For details on all regions, conference dates, and links to their websites and applications visit www.folk.org/Regions.
Missouri Senate Joint Resolution 39 (SJR39)
On Monday, March 21, 2016, the Board of Directors of Folk Alliance International unanimously voted to state opposition to Missouri Senate Joint Resolution 39 (SJR39), a bill that would allow Missouri businesses and individuals to deny service to same-sex couples.
The Board adamantly expressed that the bill is "discriminatory and offensive to the ideals of our organization, our industry, and our community”, indicating that FAI will search for a new home at the end of its current 2018 hotel contract should SJR39 pass.
For full details on this bill and to view a copy of the FAI Board of Directors letter please visit our website.