30 Years of Growing Children’s Music
by David Heitler-Klevans and Val Smalkin
Dear Children’s Music Network Family,
And that’s what you are! Family! CMN’s relatively new co-presidency paradigm continues to be working smoothly with two people sharing the helm. Many thanks to Katherine Dines for being David’s first Co-President! David will step down at the end of 2018, and Val will be joined by a new Co-President. Sharing is what CMN is all about, so it seems fitting that we now do things in this manner.
We’d like to share some of your Board of Directors’ (BOD) plans for 2018. It has been a goal for many years to diversify the membership of CMN. The current Board has made this a major priority, and will focus our efforts on increasing the diversity of CMN in four areas: race/ethnicity, age, geographic region, and professional role (to broaden the representation of children's music fields beyond teachers/performers/songwriters—e.g. music therapists, librarians, DJs, etc).
To this end, we are planning a Diversity Board Retreat prior to our regularly scheduled fall meetings at the 2018 conference in Sandusky, Ohio. A professional facilitator will work with us to help identify new strategies and ideas, as well as to discover areas where we may need to change aspects of our organization to make it a more welcoming place for those who don’t yet feel comfortable here. If all goes as planned, the professional facilitator will also play a role in the conference so the entire membership can benefit and help CMN grow and change in positive ways.
Our Marketing Committee, chaired by Alice Burba, is creating a new CMN Members Speakers Bureau that will provide an avenue to highlight and open new opportunities to members who provide keynote presentations, speak on panels, or present workshops at local, regional, and even international conferences. Also in the works is the membership and marketing Let the World Be Well video featuring all of YOU!
Our Fundraising Committee, chaired jointly by Tim Seston and Val Smalkin, conducted the first-ever February Orlando Timeshare Auction. You probably know the results as you read this! Also, echoing the idea of more diversity, the committee asked the membership to suggest themes and ideas for the Spring Fundraiser. Many ideas flew in. CMN member Dave Kinnoin even wrote a song specifically for this purpose. Thank you!
Our Membership Committee, chaired by Lisa Heintz and Linda Ronberg, is focusing on outreach to people in the Midwest and Great Lakes, leading up to our next conference in Ohio. Another priority is putting into place an ongoing mentoring program, building on the interest and success of the program at the conference.
We want to thank everyone who made the 2017 CMN Annual International Conference in Hyannis such a huge success—especially our wonderful co-chairs, Diana Kane and Kim Wallach, and our incomparable Jane Arsham! It was truly one of the best CMN conferences, befitting of our thirtieth anniversary. It had great workshops, singing, round-robins, jamming, community building, dancing, and Ken Whiteley’s keynote, all capped off by the moving Magic Penny tribute to Sally Rogers.
Our next conference will be held at the Sawmill Creek Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, October 12–14. Save those dates! Our Conference Chairs, Lisa Heintz and Joanie Calem, have been hard at work organizing all the facets of our 2018 gathering, whose theme is “Sing When the Spirit Says Sing.” We hope to see you all in Sandusky in October!