As we close out 2021, and prepare for 2022, I send you my best wishes and this heads up:
Sunday Salon mailings that used to come from firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com accounts will now come from Michael Ligon Presenting AfroClassical Composers – a new non-profit organization that grew out of our Sunday Salon during the pandemic. I serve as Founding and Creative Director.
The difference is that starting October 2022 (projected) we’ll meet in a public location, accommodating a larger audience of in-person gatherings, coming out of COVID distancing.
With tax deductible status of non-profit fiscal sponsorship, I’ve begun applying for grants to help fund what our name suggests – Presenting... performances of works that I curate. The mission statement and other details appear in our website: https://afroclassicalcomposers.org/
Your financial support of this organization will fund our execution of the mission. That means we can provide employment to talented musicians who reflect the demographics of SoCal as they play music highlighting African Diaspora composers of classical music.
With my funds I’ve engaged a grant writer/manager to ensure that we apply for available grants by deadlines. I’ve also contracted with web and photography/video professionals whose works are reflected in the new PAAC website and recent mailings. I hope you’ll agree that their work is professional and that it represents the organization well. We will also need to engage the services of a music librarian, A/V Tech manager, and subject matter experts in complimenting fields for interdisciplinary discussion. Please support these professionals who give their best to make this organization function in ways that change lives.
I’m reminded of successful AfroLatina conductor Kalena Bovill who was pleasantly surprised to learn that when she conducted the orchestra in front of young viewers at a school she visited repeatedly, one little boy saw himself in her and mimicked her conducting motions while she faced the orchestra. Youngsters, and adults alike, who do not see themselves in those we typically see on the stage conducting or playing instruments in our orchestras at classical concerts, don’t perceive that they can be it. This perpetuates a sense that classical music is only for certain people. As a result, the talent on stage often looks segregated and lacks diversity. Please notice that the next time you see an orchestra on stage that is funded from all our public funds, if you haven’t already noticed – even post George Floyd’s death and world-wide phenomenon.
At Presenting AfroClassical Composers, included in our mission is a commitment to diversity in the musicians we employ to interpret works of this targeted group of brilliant composers - male and female, living and legacy.
You might know that grants often stipulate restricted use. For example, some grants can’t be used for admin expenses, but for only performers salaries, etc. Your contribution (monthly, one-time or annually) will give us flexibility to plan and execute all the elements of successful, high quality and engaging presentations framed by community discussions across related disciplines (visual art, history, sociology, architecture, dance…).
Do feel free to forward this to friends who value this project and who’ll support us financially.
At https://afroclassicalcomposers.org/ please click on the “Donate” button to support this mission.
Donations of $500 or more have the option of the donors’ name/organization listed in our next printed program. Donations of $1,000 or more have the option of the donor’s logo or name listed on our website. Donations by checks can be made out and mailed to:
145 N. Raymond Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Please write Presenting AfroClassical Composers or PAAC on memo line.
In political fund raising the acronym EMILY stands for Early Money Is Like Yeast. It has a similar meaning here. You can accomplish so much more in planning and execution when you have early funding, vs. pulling things together at the last minute, which often leaves infeasible circumstances – even where achievement would have actually been possible.
Presenting… will need to match an anticipated initial $5k grant with donations of $5K, which will help fund an inaugural presentation – projected for October 2022. Works by George Walker, R. Nathaniel Dett and Dorothy Rudd-Moore are being prepared for presentation/performance, with interdisciplinary focus. I invite you to be part of this success and invest in this mission with funding for its smooth execution.
In the spirit of this holiday season, enjoy Christmas Overture by English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor:
Thank you kindly.