We’re in the home stretch of KUSP’s broadcast of the 55th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival. It’s KUSP’s 32nd year as MJF’s local broadcast partner, and the third year where we’ve collaborated with the festival on Internet-delivered content.
The big change this year, thanks to the festival and their sponsors, is our live video feed every night from the Night Club. We’ve seen some terrific performances the past two nights, and we’re looking forward to tonight’s Hammond B3 Blowout.
We’ve been mentioning the funding situation for the MJF broadcast on the air this weekend, and I think some of what we’ve said bears repeating here.
For most of the time our summer music festivals have been on the air (MJF, and the Carmel Bach Festival and Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music) they’ve been paid for through a mix of KUSP funding sources. The biggest piece (typically over 90% of the festival production budget) has been made up of grants from non-profit foundations that support the arts in Monterey and Santa Cruz County. The specific sources have rotated around over time, but the foundation sector has been the go-to place for our broadcast funding. Most of these foundations also directly support the presenting organizations, and their support for our broadcasts sort of leverages the investment they make in the music festivals themselves.
In 2012, we experienced an unprecedented reduction in our foundation support. There are many reasons for this, most of which revolve around the shifting priorities of the foundation sector. The pressure on foundations to respond to cuts in government funding is immense and affects many different economic sectors.
In any event, at the start of this summer we were faced with a decision about what to do about our summer festival broadcasts, absent the foundation support that had been so important for so long. Having already committed to our Carmel Bach Festival season (the first of the three festivals each summer), our Board of Directors and our fund-raising leadership (staff and volunteer) determined to go out and raise the “missing” foundation money from our listener-contributors and our local business community. The original budget for the 2012 festival season was $35,000.
We reached our goal for the Cabrillo Festival by the end of July and then turned our attention to MJF. Going in to the start of the broadcast, we still had about $3,400 left to go to make our budget. We’ve invited our listeners to contribute at kusp.org in between the sets this weekend.
We are grateful to all the people who have made a gift so far to our music festival fund, and to our sponsor for the Monterey Jazz Festival broadcast, Nordic Naturals. But as you can see, with $3,400 or so left to raise, there’s room for you too!
After we get home from the jazz festival, we immediately turn our attention to the KUSP Fall Pledge Drive, the proceeds of which supports everything you hear on KUSP and experience at kusp.org. The goal for the pledge drive will be quite a bit higher than the campaign to save the summer music festivals, of course, and the stakes will be even bigger. It’s a critical time for public broadcasting in America, and this drive is our one best chance to not only fund the programming you’ve come to rely on, but to prepare ourselves as a station for what may lie ahead down the road.
As always, we welcome your support, and your comments.