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Reports | Fall 2018

Presidents’ Message

Dear CMN,

The second year of Co-Presidency proves that it is a great working concept. As you know, “president” is simply another word for “servant,” and we have found serving jointly to be a joy. As we move forward, we are grateful to be entering the next year with a group of highly skilled and dedicated board members.

ADMINISTRATION: Our Administrative Director, Jane Arsham, is our center of gravity, as it were. Jane keeps our membership lists up to date, our bank accounts in order, makes sure our 501(c)(3) filings are done properly (with the advice of an attorney), rides herd on the BOD so we do our jobs (committee reports, fund-raising, membership, marketing, conferences, regional song swaps, writing Constant Contact messages). Without an excellent administrative director our group would fly apart. So be sure to thank Jane for her dedicated hard work.

FUNDRAISING: The Fundraising Committee, co-chaired by Tim Seston and Valerie Smalkin, are grateful to the membership for maintaining the same high level of participation and generosity as in previous years. Once again, thanks to graphic support by James Coffey, digital help from Carl Foote, songwriting by Dave Kinnoin, and several anonymous matching grants, our members contributed $9,085 in less than one month to CMN!

The Fundraising committee has found that Facebook Birthday Fundraisers are a great way to help CMN. You simply name “The Children’s Music Network” as the 501(c)(3) you would like to support, and your friends can make donations directly through FaceBook! These can be highly successful as your friends surely want to support your cause on your birthday.

MARKETING: Alice Burba continues to grow our online presence via Facebook and Twitter. Facebook Live sessions have drawn viewers from around the world. Alice and her team have also targeted Facebook ads in the Great Lakes Region to help spread the word about the 2018 International Conference.

Another method of growing visibility is the new “Speakers’ Bureau” launched with Jane Arsham taking the lead.

SOCIAL NETWORKING AND BLOG: Lily Emerson has taken over the helm in the realm of social networking with remarkable results: 2,205 Likes on Facebook. One post reached 3,090 in the first week of June 2018!

Tim Seston and his amazing stable of blog contributors provide a wide variety of informative and fun-packed blogs that are easy to share with your friends.

MEMBERSHIP: Bruce O’Brien has been working to develop a mentoring program for CMN members, recognizing that we ALL have experience and knowledge to share, and we ALL have areas in which we need to learn and grow, and above all, that our members are CMN’s greatest resource.

As always, and this year with special emphasis, this committee continues to seek diversity in our membership in terms of age, geographic location, race/ethnicity, and roles played in the world of children and music (librarians, music therapists, children’s hospital volunteers, and others). Special effort has been expended in the Great Lakes region where the 2018 International Conference will be held.

PASS IT ON!: All who contribute to PIO! will miss the effervescent Brigid Finucane who steps down as editor and up to editor emeritus. At the same time the talented contributors to our magazine celebrate Ginger Lazarus as the new Editor and Heather Taylor as Copy Editor. Remember, the content of PIO! (except for the songs) is completely open to site visitors, so please share the articles widely. They are informative, insightful, and interesting!

SONG LIBRARIES: Last year we added “Multicultural Songs for Children” to our song library thanks to Lisa Heinz and Carl Foote, and plans are underway for another category called “Best-Loved Tunes.”

CONFERENCE: The 2018 International Children’s Music Network Conference will be in... ta da! The Saw Mill Creek Resort in Huron, Ohio. In keeping with our goal to grow our diversity, the keynote speaker will be Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, PhD. She will share “Why Are We Singing to the Choir”—an engaging discussion around who is the choir? Who is missing? If music is the universal language, how can we use it with more universal appeal? How can we sing out loud and clear? She will explore making choices about songs with a past.

This year’s Magic Penny Award goes to Kim and Reggie Harris. With creativity, deep knowledge, and beautiful voices, Kim and Reggie have taught and inspired generations of kids and adults to understand our past and what it means for us today. For over thirty years, they have been performing, teaching, writing, researching, and recording. They have an incredible repertoire of African American music, mixing both old and new freedom songs and spirituals to engage and educate audiences of all ages.

This year’s Co-Chairs, Joanie Calem and Lisa Heintz, along with Jane Arsham and an army of volunteers, have planned wonderful workshops geared to all who care about children and music.

Please join us! Find conference information and registration here.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2019: We’re excited to announce a new conference venue in Scottsdale, Arizona, thanks to Co-Chairs Alice Burba and Katherine Dines. Think Western and Multicultural.

It has been a joy to share our love for and commitment to CMN this year. We are grateful for the work and dedication of the board members, the fabulous advice and expertise shared on the forum, and, most of all, YOUR enthusiasm and support in celebration of the positive power of music in the lives of children (and all of us).