This year, in addition to asking you to consider volunteering to help produce the festival, we need to ask something more of everyone. Natick High School has had the floor of the main gym (our main hall) refinished. They are very concerned about keeping it in good shape, and have asked us to make sure that everyone using the hall wears clean, soft-soled, non-marking shoes. So we, in turn, are asking all of you to bring a separate pair of clean shoes to dance in. We will have chairs, brushes, and mats at each entrance to the hall, and volunteers who will check to be sure your shoes won't do damage. Please help us stay in Natick by spreading the word to all potential Festival attendees.
Another change for 1997 is that the town of Natick has paved and curbed many of the streets in the vicinity of the school. Since Natick defines legal parking as being fully off the road, this means we have no legal on-street parking associated with the Festival. Please be careful where you park your car; town police enforce their parking regulations vigorously, and no exceptions are made for special events such as the Festival. We will continue to have shuttle bus service to the Natck Labs parking lot, and we hope more of you will car pool and shuttle from that lot.
All of the above means even more tasks for willing volunteers. As you know, the Festival can't happen without your help, so we hope to see many new faces on our volunteer crew. Check it out - those who volunteer year after year can tell you how important a part of their Festival experience it is to help produce it. The volunteer recruitment form will be mailed with the NEFFA ballot at the end of March, so there is time to think about which volunteer activity you might most enjoy. And, of course, you can call the NEFFA office before that if you would like to play a greater role and become involved in the pre-Festival planning.
See you in April!
-- Nancy Hanssen, president
Therefore, we will allow into the Main Hall only people wearing clean shoes that won't damage or mark the floor. So please bring clean soft-soled shoes for use in the Main Hall. In addition to having everyone wear clean, soft shoes, we will provide mats for wiping feet and one or two runners on the floor for heavily traveled walk-through areas.
Thanks for helping assure that NEFFA will continue to be able to use the Main Hall.
Park at the Army Natick Labs on Route 27 in Natick. Shuttle buses will run every 15 minutes throughout the Festival. Traveling south on Rte. 27 toward Natick Center, the Natick Labs are on the right about 1 mile before you reach the center of town.
-- Robert Solosko
Each year, hundreds of great people get together and make this weekend possible. Without our volunteers, the New England Folk Festival just wouldn't happen. It is a wonderful feeling, and gives you a new perspective on the entire Festival and what a truly amazing event it is.
NEFFA would like to invite you to volunteer. We need help setting up, tearing down, and all throughout the weekend. We need volunteers for Sound, Tickets, Signs, Hospitality, Arrangements, and many other facets of the Festival.
If you work one hour you get in free for a session: four hours will cover you for the entire weekend.
Look for the volunteer enclosure in the March ballot mailing, and sign up! [You can also sign up at this webpage!]
-- Nancy Hanssen
-- Elsa Elliott
The Friday evening welcoming dance, emceed by Marianne Taylor, featured three callers from Maine: Nancy Raich, John McIntire and Bill Olson plus Dick Forscher, newly moved to New Hampshire after years of calling and dancing in Connecticut. The music was provided by Bob McQuillen on piano and Harvey Tolman on fiddle. Harvey specializes in Cape Breton style fiddling and the combination of fiddle, backed by impeccable contra style piano, kept everyone's feet dancing til the last waltz. Daytime sessions had dancing, discussions, and workshops for musicians. The retrospective session highlighted Ralph Page's 1966 trip to England. There was a good mix of the contemporary and traditional for both squares and contras, including the occasional dance that can be presented in this type of setting, but will not be found at your regular weekly dance.
During the weekend, Ann Pearce manned the CDSS traveling book store.
After a banquet at the New England Center, everyone gathered back at the Memorial Union Building for the Grand Dance, emceed by Tony Saletan, resplendent in white tie and tails. Other staff callers included Susan Kevra, Scott Higgs and George Hodgson. Musicians for the weekend were Bill Tomczak, Dave Langford and Mary Cay Brass playing in one group and Dave Kaynor, Bruce Rosen, Robin Kynoch and Rick Mohr in the other group, playing as Drastic Measures.
Even though Sunday session began at 9 am, (an early hour for dancers) people turned out to dance to Scott Higgs, listen to Susan Kevra talk about caller/musician interactions, or just socialize around the snack table. The afternoon dance, emceed by Sylvia Miskoe, began with Glen Bannerman calling a Southern big circle. Staff callers had one last turn; the musicians combined into one large band.
-- Sylvia Miskoe
The 1996 Ralph Page Weekend essentially broke even; there were several thousand dollars of donations to the Memorial Fund in Ted Sannella's memory.
A motion to approve the Treasurer's Report was passed. Michael: We don't have an all-inclusive budget sheet, showing committee past projections, actuals, and future proposals. Ralph: We could have some history information; this would be a good idea.Michael: This might help us do a better job budgeting. Dan: Calling committee-provided information a "budget" is overstating things. I care less how well a projection was hit than I care about the trend in actual expenses. Nancy: I request committee chairs to provide history information in their forthcoming reports.
A motion to approve the above was passed by the Elected Board.
Closing Time. Michael: Favor booths closing after the last dance session ends. Shelagh: If a table closes early, it's the craftsperson's responsibility. Bob: Current policy is all selling stops at 11:45pm.
Early signing of agreements OK? Jonathan: As long as Mary realizes that the contract with the school is not signed until winter.
Jurying. Nancy: Jurors should be crafters. Should they be NEFFA people? Robert: Crafts should be related to other NEFFA activities (music, song, dance). Pottery, for example, has a weaker connection. Dan: Having jurors who know what NEFFA attenders want is more important than insisting on NEFFA membership. The jurying process was set up to protect the chair from conflict of interest issues; before that, we didn't have a jury. I'd encourage Mary to do what she wants to do, even judge the room all by herself, or use trusted friends.
Lisa and Janet met with members of the Gender Free community. A report listing ideas was circulated. The practice of asking callers to designate GF sets will likely not continue, now that our concerns have been communicated. Larry says that GF activities should be scheduled, and then we should find the staff. Janet: One suggestion from the meeting was to have a GF session that explored different ways of leading GF dancing. Larry: That would be great for NEFFA to do.
Copyright © 1996 New England Folk Festival Association