09. February 29, 2012

Association Working Group Conference Call

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stan reminded us to follow all results and minutes on musicassociation.wordpress.com.

Beth encouraged all to review the process to date and questions raised so far. She went over the latest survey.

Question 2 – There is an absolute stalemate between dates for the drafting convention, which are April 27-29 and May 11-13. After some discussion, we settled on April 27 – 29.

People should arrive by the evening on Friday to work through the weekend. Those who wish to see the YOURS Program in Chicago should arrive earlier so that they can visit on Friday.

Eric Booth asked about how we will handle feedback on the draft Bylaws once they’re written and sent out to the entire group. Beth said that it depends on the nature of the feedback. Generally, though, significant feedback will go back to the working group. Finally, the individual core members (as determined) will vote to ratify the Bylaws.

We will know more about the work to be done as we move closer to the meeting, but we will be getting to many of the details during these calls. We will be working toward the implementation plan as well.

Louise in Pasadena asked how the number of people for the drafting convention will be chosen.

Question 3 – minimum hours required for core membership

In the last survey, 75% favored at least 5 hours of weekly instruction. However, weighted preferences came to 8 hours. In this survey, the group was asked about 5 or 8 hours and was split evenly between the two. Beth suggested that we accept 5 hours as a base, and possibly change it later.

Someone asked about the incentives for being a core member. Beth said that they will depend on the upcoming work of the association. It’s reasonable to assume that benefits will include voting for Board and rules, ability to participate in shared funding, opportunities to share information. Auxiliary members will have fewer benefits.

Louise Lanzilotti (Hawai‘i) suggested that we not decide on the number of hours yet since we are still not clear about core membership vs. affiliate membership. There was a lot of discussion on both sides of the hour issue. Dalouge said that his group is coming more from a perspective of building a network that is strong in his area, and that hours are not the bottom line. The other Louise said that we are for access and excellence, but how do we define those.

We agreed to stay with a 5 hour minimum for now . . .

Question 4 –Elements recommended for core membership

  • Striving toward excellence
  • Frequent performances
  • Parental engagement
  • Outcomes measurement
  • Serving children for a minimum of 3 years, aspiring toward lifetime

Elements that were not recommended for core membership (these just had lower agreement among the group and might be important in their own right)

  • Operating with high administrative standards
  • Being an independent 501c3
  • Community based location
  • Support through tutoring
  • Requiring enrollment in school

Striving for musical excellence – Someone from ORCHKids said that this would be hard to define and should remain generalized rather than trying to find specific guidelines. There was general agreement. Katie, I believe, said that it is a positive statement but should not be an exclusionary one.

Community based location – what does this mean? Mark commented that this is a core of El Sistema, being based within a community. The language within the questions is redundant and may have led to some confusion. Perhaps some people even felt that the question was asking about being located in community centers. We need to revisit this for clarification, since we all operate within communities we serve. Beth said that future discussion about this area will continue.

Beth said that if anyone feels some question or idea is not being considered strongly enough, please comment on the website.

Frequent performances – do we want to define this further? Some suggested that we leave this general as well. Mark in St. Louis agreed. He said that this is like the number of hours or engagement question. Margaret suggested a minimum of one performance per semester. Louise from Pasadena suggested that this just be left as is.

Outcomes measurement – Does this need more specific language? Beth said that her understanding is that to be a core member, one must use some outcomes measurement in an ongoing basis.

Current enrollment in school – Margaret feels that this is important.

Question 5 – adult and youth ensembles as members. The group rejected this category.

Those ensembles that have El Sistema inspired programs would count as core groups. Those ensembles that don’t would not be included as auxiliary members.

There was discussion of what makes an auxiliary member; should we allow in as many people as possible; how do we make a line between what WE are and what we are not, so that the public can understand that. Rey suggested having a seal of approval for core membership. Louise (Hawaii) suggested a name other than auxiliary member, like Friends of, in order to differentiate more clearly and in order not to water down the movement.

Final Topic – we need to narrow down the core membership issue. Once we do that, we can consider auxiliary/Friend as a category.

Beth thanked everyone again for their input and praised us for the speed of the work. We have moved through the first stage of decisions and are into the second stage already.

ROLL CALL: Beth Babcock, Stanford Thompson, Rey Ramirez, Dalouge Smith, Louise Lanzilotti, Eric Booth, Mark Churchill, Margaret Martin, Maria Montilla, Katie Wyatt, Mark Sarich, Louise Ghandi, Melina Garcia, Nick Mitchell, Mary Winkle, Jessie Keating, Bob Fiedler, Leni Boorstin


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