Monday, June 17, 2013

What Does Passim Mean to You?

Received by email from
 Dan Hogan  via 
Dear Jeff, 

I want to thank you for your involvement with Passim and to ask for your support as our new fiscal year draws to a close on June 30. Below is some information that I hope will inform and inspire you to give in a way that is meaningful to you. 
  • Did you know that Passim is a nonprofit?  
  • Did you know that, to sustain our programs, we depend on our community for 40 cents in memberships and donations for every dollar in ticket sales?
  • Did you know that 80 cents of every dollar you give goes directly to our programs, while only 20 cents goes to overhead?
We hope your answer to all of these questions is "yes, we knew that!"

Our next question is:
  • Will you support our mission to "provide exceptional musical experiences, nurture artists and build community" by becoming a member or donating before June 30?
Again, we hope your answer will be a resounding "yes." If so, then just click here and you'll be well on your way to continuing your role in our community - a community that consists of newer and more seasoned artists, students, members and others, all of whom share a desire to show how vital music is to our lives.  Make the same statement today by showing how important live music is to your life. Our new fiscal year ends June 30 - help us end on a healthy note by becoming a member or donating today.
Thank you for your support.
With Warm Regards,
Dan Hogan
Executive Director

PassimMissionThe Passim Nonprofit Mission
The mission of Passim is to provide truly exceptional and interactive live musical experiences for both performers and audiences, to nurture artists at all stages of their career, and to build a vibrant music community. We do so through our legendary listening venue, music school, artist grants and outreach programs. As a nonprofit since 1994, Passim carries on the heritage of our predecessors-the historic Club 47 (1958-1968) and for-profit Passim (1969-1994). We cultivate a diverse mix of musical traditions, where the emphasis is on the relationship between performers and audience and teachers and students. Located in Harvard Square, Passim serves Cambridge and the broader region by featuring local, national and international artists. Our ultimate goal is to help the performance arts flourish and thereby enrich the lives of members of our community.

Passim is supported in part by:

Sent by reply email:

What does Passim mean for me?
It means the post-Siggins board / post Tim Mason-managed institution has abandoned its earlier mission as stated before February 2010:

"Music as a MissionPlans are well underway to ensure the mission of Club Passim continues. It's more than the sharing of good music. As a non-profit, the club believes it critical to preserve and promote folk and acoustic music by nurturing new artists, offering varied programming, and featuring both new and established talent. The challenge to fulfill this mission is to keep it financially sound by building its membership base and continue strong fundraising efforts through donations, corporate sponsorships and grants. We hope you join us this year in supporting the artists and helping us keep playing the music for another 50 years."

Apparently "Passim" (and the NPR version of WUMB) both have a problem with the "f" (folk) word being in their respective mission statements, websites and branding, as having such would inconveniently get into the way of presenting inferior-quality pop "artists." A case in point, I attended a recent concert where a friend was the featured act. My Eastman-trained date said of the very disorganized, untalented opener "who did she slept with to get the gig?"

Do us all a favor, abandon the "pop" experiment. Bring the old crew and the old Club Passim (Betsy, Tim, Millie, Elizabeth et al) back.

"Passim" also means that the dropping of the word "Club" dishonors the earliest years as Club 47.
From, copied 2/13/10
Passim History
It's hard to believe that thousands of musicians consider playing in a room no larger than 30' x 40' that intimately seats 125 in a basement in Harvard Square as "making it." But they do, because this brick-floored subterranean locale is Club Passim, one of the nation's legendary cultural icons and epicenter of great folk and acoustic music. A place where musicians like Joan Baez, Tom Rush, Jackie Washington, Peter Wolf, Taj Mahal, Patty Larkin, Goeff & Maria Muldaur, Shawn Colvin, and Suzanne Vega cut their musical teeth before playing larger venues.

Why Legendary?
For more than 50 years, Club Passim has been known as a premier national venue presenting new and established traditional, folk, and acoustic musical performers. In all its incarnations, from the original Club 47 (1958-1968) to Passim (1969-1994) and finally as its present Club Passim, the club has been a special place for both artist and audience member. Probably more than any other single site, Club 47 can claim to have produced a generation of performers, record producers, festival organizers, and managers who remain a great influence on today\'92s music industry. Club 47 may have been the most influential club of its kind during the 1960s folk boom, even more so than clubs in New York and Berkeley. The venue's role in America's musical and cultural history is still being assessed in books, recordings, television documentaries, articles, and autobiographies.
Making History
Club Passim first opened as a jazz venue in 1958 under the name of Club 47. The first few months were rocky as the club was shut down by the Cambridge police. The local blue laws at the time prohibited more than three stringed instruments in a place that served food and beverages. So they got a non-profit educational charter and reopened as a private club, making people members at the door.
It wasn't long before it earned a reputation for good music, coffee, and company. And it was here that a friend of then unknown 17-year-old Joan Baez rented the club out just to get her on stage. Baez quickly built a worshipful following and became a regular feature. Here, she introduced Bob Dylan who played between acts.
The Club was shut down by Cambridge police once again, but the performers rallied and held their own hootenannies to keep the music going. Supporters soon realized that they had built a strong community around the club-a strong, close-knit community that remains to this day. The Club Today-40 More Years When rock-and-roll electrified the music and became "the sound," its influence lessened folk's popularity and broadened the folk spectrum simultaneously. But when the '60s came to a close, so did the era of Club 47, which was reborn into Passim and run by Bob and Rae Anne Donlin, who kept its flavor true to its roots. Best of all, Club Passim remains a small venue, where the audience is close enough to feel reverberation of music, see the sweat of the brow, and be a part of the art. Club Passim remains that community that began 40 years ago. It remains a non-profit organization that relies on members, donors, and volunteers for support.
The key to Club Passim's continued success is its audiences, who support new musicians, take risks, and lend an educated ear. But it's more than the music that brings them back. A notation in the club's Memory Book, written by a fan whose association with the club spans its history, sums up feelings of others who've passed through the room: "...The beauty of this place is that in 30 years, those of you who pass through this sacred room will have equally wonderful memories of performers whose careers were launched here. I hope your memories, felt years from now, will inspire the feelings of kinship with special musical experiences that mine do for me. Come here often. The specialness of this room will grow on you."
"Passim evokes Bob and Rae Anne Donlin; "Club Passim" honors both Club 47 and the Donlins.
Bring back the hybrid name, Club Passim.

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