[Harp-L] SPAH Election Discussions are Fertile Watersheds to Feed SPAH's spirit and body

  I've only attended the one Sac'to Spah conf. and was blown away by the
 richness of resources.  I've been on the Harp-L for less than a decade,
 I think, but it's been an immeasurable resource, too.  I am addicted, I NEED SPAH and Harp-L, as a harp player and a jam builder and a blues society fiduciary.

Thus I'm happy to see lively policy discussion about SPAH, it's the sign of a vital organization with passionate members, all mean well and seek the same general ends, with some different tone, flavor and focus.  Ergo, an election with meaning!

Any sense of exclusiveness I got from the SPAH convention was only in terms of skill levels, us goofy small- time amateurs can easily feel out of our depth amongst some of you eggheads and stylish pros, but the fact is, these same eggheads and stylish pros spend hours each day working and playing with us lesser harpsuckers, so they are entitled to their rarified air.  And we can sit nearby and soak it up!  

So, all are expressly welcome.  And yet just sitting there being open doesn't create inclusivity, since a jamming claque of busy diatonic blues hounds will seem a bit alien and less welcoming to a buttoned-down classical aficionado, and a couchful of 60-something chord & chrom players may not feel as welcoming to a young Ricci acolyte as they really and truly are, and vice versa.

Actually creating inclusiveness requires affirmative action aimed at seeking 
out and bringing in the new, the old, the young and the different, and 
cultivating their input and participation.  

So, local smaller events are a good farm-team sort of cultivator, if there are people willing and able to do the work.   But it ain't easy, and it costs $.   And, SPAH is the institution the support of which makes all the rest possible.  SO, financial support of SPAH is a fundamental, indeed primary, existential issue (is that redundant?)   

For us itinerant harp suckers, the convention costs hundreds of dollars, or more, and Harp-L costs nothing.   I would not want to see us charging for Harp-L, but if it cost me $30 per year to be on this list, I wouldn't hesitate to pay it.   Harp-L is about as helpful as the convention (but not as fun!!)

Fundraising is always an issue and monetizing assets always a choice.   Besides the obvious (and doubtless well-worn)  notion of an annual allstar SPAH CD or DVD, which might generate some $$, after prod and promotion costs,  it seems us SPAH members, and Non-Spah-member HARP-L list-serve uses, should pony up more if we can.  And propose local events (for which Michael Polesky's recent death sparked some interest in my mind, at least, for here in SoCal), to help bring in newbies, invigorate SPAH vets, and just stir things up musically as well.  And, maybe even make some dough for papa SPAH.

And perhaps we should raise our dues, from 45 to 60 (from 75 to 100 for family).  Five bucks a month is a bargain of the century for Harp-L alone.  And non-SPAH Harp-L-ers might be willing to at least pay for access to Harp-L, i.e., within a year of signing up, pay $30 per ensuing year, or join SPAH.

Just some reckless and doubtlessly hackneyed ideas.

I AM NOT running for any office here, but a public interest organization, as is SPAH, should relish lively debate about it's past, present  and future, so her's a couple red cents for ya.

-Dave "I need an editor" Fertig

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