This year we owe a special thank you to our attendees: the gym floor passed inspection with flying colors! Members of the high school's athletic department check each year after the Festival, and were very pleased this year with the care we took. Festival evaluations also indicated that people were pleased by the lower level of dust, thanks to cleaner shoes and the frequent sweeping of both the main and lower halls; this is certainly something we will continue in the future.
I also want to thank all of you who parked at the Natick Labs. This was so popular we had to hire an extra shuttle bus on Saturday, which we did gladly. The town police were pleased at not having to ticket or tow many cars, and so were we. While we continue to try to improve the parking situation we very much appreciate your cooperation.
One of the things that impressed me this year was the attendance at the Sunday morning annual meeting. A larger group than usual, it included both people new to the Festival who wanted to see what we were about, and a number of members who have been coming to the Festival for a long, long time; some from the very beginning: Frances Clayton, Larry Jennings, Angela Taylor, Arthur Tufts, and Francis and Marjorie Worrell. Some of these people are still active in helping us run things, others have contributed in the past, but all are still attending, involved, and cheering us on.
The presence of these folks reminded me again of the original impetus for the Festival: a place where people of differing beliefs and backgrounds could come together harmoniously to share music and dancing and other folk traditions. It is, as one committee member put it, our own Brigadoon, where we can leave the concerns of the =D4real' world behind and enjoy the best of one another. One new Festival attendee commented on the "gentleness" he saw everywhere - families enjoying activities together, old friends happily meeting again, people treating strangers with warmth and consideration. He was impressed with how different this is from the usual atmosphere of everyday life. I think it is different, and it is important for us all to have a place like this to go to. I invite you to help us preserve and maintain it.
-- Nancy Hanssen
Ralph has indicated that he's the only candidate for RSCDS, Boston Branch Treasurer.
Dan will be handling pager and cellular phone rentals. There will be less parking around the school than before. Can we put in a flyer with the News? Answer: yes.
The folk bazaar will be shifted to the front of the trophy display cabinets to make room for shoe cleaning chairs. We'll get additional mats for the entrances to the main halls.
John reports that Chinese slippers are no longer available.
The possibility of running a shuttle bus to local motels was discussed and dismissed as impractical for us.
We need more volunteers to police the shoes, which should be clean, and free of grit. We are going to have bottlenecks. We need to dry-mop the floor between dance sets, and we'll need four volunteers to do this in a reasonable amount of time. Black marks are made by edging ink and by black rubber heels. Clean leather soles are in general OK.
If someone shows up with bad shoes, we can tell people to dance barefoot or in the Lower Hall. Bob says that contractors have been alerted to wear clean shoes. Mary will encourage crafts people to go through the Activity Room.
We've had a lot of applicants; we'll be sending out a large number of rejection letters. It looks like it will be a fine program. The program philosophy statement will be presented at the next meeting.
Bob is unhappy with the wording on the flyer re. parking. It is not clear enough that Natick Labs is the place to park.
Bob and Jean will be preparing an updated parking flyer to distribute at dances and at area hotels. Dan will produce the Mass Pike directions memo pads for the Exit 13 toll-takers.
Dan suggested that we collect flyer comments at the Evaluation Meeting.
Custodians will do sweeping for us on a schedule. Operations Manager will monitor the sweeping. We need to have announcements to clear to floor for sweeping.
Natick Schools says we can use the elementary and middle school parking lots (off Mill St.). This would likely require an additional bus (@$750), additional publicity, etc. Dan says he thinks the bus company has a parking lot that might be more conveniently serviced.
Nat Case will do outside signs. He will look to reducing number of signs and making them easier to put up. We are looking into parking map dispensers at critical intersections.
We're thinking of moving the bus stop to the parking area beyond the loading dock in the front loop (to avoid exhaust from idling buses filtering into the Music Room).
Waiting to hear about mats and runners from custodians. Can custodians periodically vacuum the mats?
How do I decide the mix? It's a combination of people who approach me and people I find by scanning newspapers and other publications. I try to keep it ethnic. There should be music, but not too much. I like educational aspects and environmental messages. I don't expect a lot of turnover. I want a wide price range, but I don't want "Coney Island".
I ask prospective vendors to send me brochures. I like having dependable regulars. People need to commit to being there for the entire Festival.
The booth fee depends on the space and the amount of rental equipment they need. They range from $15 to $20.
We'll need better lighting in the South Corridor. Revels needs an outlet for a turntable.
Performer check-in (especially with respect to Festival Orchestra performers) is the area that needs the most examination.
Next year, the weekend will be 16-18 January 1998. We have staff confirmations so far from Mary DesRosiers and Dudley Laufman.
The calling and music scholarship people were required to participate in open mic and open band situations. Nonetheless, there was positive feedback for this.
It was discussed that there is some confusion on where to check in when entering the lobby. Also, late-hours check-in was discussed. Dave Reid said that he'd be able to handle distribution of tickets in envelopes.
There was a discussion of duplicated tickets.
We have gotten permission to use the upper lot at Natick Labs.
The South Corridor looks bright enough without supplementary lighting. Dan: Revels needs power.
We'll be having regular sweeping. Mike: Stage managers could be tapped to make sweeping announcements. Dan: Maybe we can attach bicycle horns to the brooms. Don: Someone should inspect the floor before the weekend. Bob: We'll have a full-length runner on the Craft Room side of the Main Hall.
Dan, the Operations Manager, will obviate the need for a Board Member on Call.
Shelagh was authorized a small budget to deal with emergencies.
Ralph wants us to consider charging a commission at Performer Sales.
The curtain issue is somewhat unresolved.
-- Angel Roman
-- Angel Roman
New England Folk Festival Association