Name: Janet Bowler
Organization: North Coast Symphonic Band
Annual Operating Budget: $25,000
Learn more at northcoastsymphonicband.org
Interview originally published on June 19, 2020.
How are the arts playing a role during this critical time?
We miss them!
What has been the most notable / most unpredictable / most challenging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your organization? Biggest financial challenge?
Band members and audience members are mostly seniors and at high risk for COVID-19. We do not know when we will be able to resume rehearsals or concerts.
To date, what steps have you taken to mitigate that impact?
Both the building where we rehearse and the hall where we perform are being remodeled during this time so when we are able to go back, the facilities will be in top shape.
What kind of innovation in management has developed for your your organization, and what challenges have you encountered when implementing new innovative ideas?
We are conserving energy and cash and not implementing new programs. Many board members socialize regularly on zoom to keep in touch.
What are the short-term and potential long-term effects of this shut down for your organization and the arts in general?
We worry that musicians will stop practicing and that audience members will forget us.
What is a positive collaboration or initiative born as a result of this situation within your organization or that you’ve seen from your peers and colleagues in the arts industry?
More musicians are taking online classes to keep playing and improve their skills.
What is the biggest lesson learned as a leader during this crisis?
It pays to have a reserve fund for the unexpected. We are fortunate that our loyal fans and donors have given us that security.
Understanding that the future is hard to predict, how might the lasting impacts of COVID-19 change your upcoming season? Should the tone of pieces or performances change?
Our board is waiting until August to decide about the 2020-2021 season. It’s likely we might cancel until January 2021 unless a vaccine is developed soon.
Regarding the creative process, what has been a source of inspiration for you/your organization at this time or how has your creative process changed and evolved? What outlets or channels have you sought out to continue to express your creativity, personally and/or professionally?
Online classes from all over the world!
What message do you have for the artists and fellow art leaders in our community today?
Hang in there. People miss the performing arts and will come out to support them when it’s safe to do so again.
When looking to the future, what brings you hope?
New networks are developing. People are being kind to each other.
About North Coast Symphonic Band:
Located on the North Coast of Oregon, the North Coast Symphonic Band represents community music at its finest providing local musicians with an outlet for their talents and local audiences with affordable entertainment.
The NCSB formed in 1979 and is now in its 40th concert season. Several founding members perform with the group and are on the board of directors. Volunteer musicians come from the broader community and range in age from teens to eighties. The NCSB performs four concerts per year at the Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center or at the Liberty Theater in Astoria, Oregon.
Ticket revenue does not cover expenditures so donations and grants are an important source of revenue that make it possible for the band to continue its mission. The North Coast Symphonic Band is a 501c3 non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible.
The purpose of the NCSB is to promote music and music education through the performing arts in Clatsop County.