Given finite resources and wavering community support, it can be challenging to keep the jazz candle burning in many areas. The ebb and flow can vary from gig to gig, month to month, season to season.
The latest example is on Florida’s east coast, where the Jazz Arts Music Society of Palm Beach has announced that it is suspending its annual concert series for the upcoming 2012-13 season. That after 13 years of presenting more than 250 concerts featuring an array of international, national, regional and local mainstream jazz musicians.
JAMS President and Artistic Director Susan Merritt’s announcement on behalf of the nonprofit was candid: “Over the years, the membership has declined and attendance has decreased. Donations and sponsorships have diminished, in spite of the incredible talent JAMS has brought to this community. Sadly, this pause is needed to reassess the viability of continued operations.”
The announcement said the hiatus will be used “to reflect on the past and future of JAMS. We may opt to regroup and reorganize with new energy and new faces.” This pause will also give greater Palm Beach a chance to reflect on the importance of the arts – and the vital role played by community support.
In other words, don’t ever take such support for granted. Build it, nurture it, find ways to sustain it. Knowing full well that it’s never easy.
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