I'm just home from the awesome dance organizer's conference that just took
place in White River Junction, VT.
My mind is buzzing and I want to share some of my thoughts.
First, I feel so validated in my choice to invest lots of time and energy
into our local dances. Giving people the opportunity to experience
community in the context of social dance is a worthwhile and valuable thing
to do. I knew that already, but spending time with 80 other organizers
helped me to see this again, with new eyes.
Second, I'm energized about our dances, and about broadening the team that
manages the events. I see clearly that being able to help with the dance is
a privilege and an honor. I can feel good about tapping a regular on the
shoulder and saying, "would you like to be part of the team that puts this
I'm so happy that we already have this venue of Shared Weight - Organizers.
Let's keep the energy and support that we had this weekend flowing.
Thanks to CDSS, NEFFA, DEFFA, New England Dancing Masters, MFS, and the
hard work of Chrissy Fowler, Delia Clark, Linda Henry and Mary Wesley.
I sent the first part of the thread to some organizers in Maine (prior to Bill Cowie weighing in on NEFFA's approach.)
ASCAP has been a hot button topic in our state. As Bill mentioned, a dance organizer was approached by the town (which owns the hall used by the dance) after the town had been approached by ASCAP.
At the annual meeting of DEFFA we talked about it briefly, including mentioning that Larry Unger's tunes are registered with ASCAP, and others are registered with BMI. Below is what DEFFA president John McIntire emailed me.
Here's to sharing info and specific details for the good of all!
Oh, and on that note, I wanted to request that if others are willing to share more details of their specific knowledge or experience, the do so, even if it seems like 'extraneous info.' I think we'd all benefit from having it out there in the knowledge base. (Even if it's not an issue for a given dance series now, it might come up later, and having some of those details in the SW archive would save both re-inventing the wheel and repeatedly making separate individual requests for more info.)
> From: circleleft(a)uninets.net
> Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2012 23:04:37 -0400
> Subject: Re: ASCAP on Organizers Digest, Vol 36, Issue 1
> Chrissy & all,
> Thanks for the info from the organizers list.
> I believe that the approach taken by CDSS & NEFFA have been the most
> successful & and adaptable. That is, in NEFFA's case, to own what they know
> they use.....i.e. the Beatles sing-along, and make a token payment. CDSS has
> taken the issue away from the local agent by asking the national ASCAP for a
> list. Since the local agent gets a commission, they lose interest and the
> national doesn't respond. Being defensive doesn't look to me to be a good
> idea. I expect most bands don't have a clue if they play music covered by
> ASCAP (or BMI). And I'm not certain that public domain music puts them in the
> I expect to be working on this for the next few months on DEFFA's behalf in
> order to put out a statement that Maine organizers & bands can use. It will
> likely mirror the attitude that CDSS exhibits. If someone wants to pass all this
> along to other lists, so much the better.
> cheers, John
I'm writing as a board member of the Santa Barbara Country Dance Society.
Our Treasurer received a formal letter from ASCAP, trolling (?) for money.
The subject ASCAP uses is "First Offer."
Has anyone else received this and how did you deal with it? And if no one
else has, why are we so special?