Thank you! We made it! I shaved my head not only as a stunt to generate conversation about the annual fund, which it did, but also to commemorate and acknowledge that together we have enabled Music Works NW to move on to more worthy challenges beyond keeping the doors open! We are reaching students, in schools in particular who otherwise would not get the unique, high quality instruction from our faculty. We are offering music therapy for groups and individuals, on site and off site. We are presenting amazing free concerts by artists either from the faculty or with ties to Music Works NW or the community.
It has been a difficult journey through crisis after crisis including a serious discussion to close operations in 2005! Early in 2006, the Board of Directors rolled up their sleeves and began the hard work of turning things around. I worked closely with the board’s executive and finance committees to redesign what had become a dysfunctional organization. We held extra faculty meetings, held weekly executive committee meetings, and established close financial oversight by the board. The faculty meetings were especially illuminating. Our instructors were key to helping our board see that Music Works NW was worth advocating for. There are many people to thank, but our board deserve special mention. It was small but mighty and kept the flames lit.
In 2007, Michel Martel resigned from the board and was engaged to be our Director of Operations, bringing with him a quarter century of management expertise. His calm style has resulted in many benefits for the organization including better communication, stronger management and a recommitment to development to build resources for programs. As a result we all saw the possibility of something larger and more effective beginning to take root.
The results of this Annual Fund show how far we have come in getting the message out that we do serve an important need in our community. We saw an increase in the amount of money we were able to raise, but more importantly we increased the number of individual donations by 80% over last year! This means that the largest and most significant component of Music Works NW, the community, has also stated that Music Works NW is an important conduit in the revitalization music education and expanding accessible musical activities for the community.
My shaved head is a visible symbol of gratitude to our community, the board, staff, faculty, students, public schools and like-minded organizations who make up the intricate fabric of Music Works NW for their part in helping us overcome our difficulties. Like the hair on my head, Music Works NW will grow. We are confident that this jewel of the Northwest will continue to create accessible musical opportunities for children of all ages for the long term. Thank you for supporting our 2010-11 Annual Fund Campaign! Together we will change a child’s life!