Glenwood’s Summer of Jazz may have played its final note | AspenTimes.com

Glenwood’s Summer of Jazz may have played its final note

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – This summer was the 24th year for Summer of Jazz in Glenwood Springs, but the annual community event is in danger of not returning next year if it can’t find some additional funding sources to pay for this year’s shows.

According to Summer of Jazz organizer Bob Noone the popular summer concert series fell close to $19,000 short in covering production expenses for this year. The local nonprofit that will have to eat the shortfall if other funding sources cannot be found. And if the nonprofit can’t scrape up the funds to pay off the remaining bills, there will be no Summer of Jazz for 2010.

“We’re not even talking about a continuation, or planning for a continuation of the series, until we talk about paying off this year,” Noone said. “There are serious concerns that it will not continue.”

Noone, along with his wife and co-organizer, Mary Noone, approached the Glenwood Springs City Council at its Sept. 3 meeting and asked for the remaining balance in the Tourism Funds and Discretionary Funds to be allocated to Summer of Jazz to cover the shortfall. The remaining balance for both the tourism and discretionary funds is approximately $19,000 combined. Council recommended that the Noones ask the Financial Advisory Board (FAB) for its recommendation.

However, Noone said that they met with the advisory board Thursday and that the board was “reluctant to release the funds to them.”

According to City Councilor Matthew Steckler, the FAB decided against awarding any additional funds to Summer of Jazz, considering that the organization has already received $20,000 in grant money ($12,000 from the Tourism Grant Fund and $8,000 from the Discretionary Grant Fund) for 2009. Summer of Jazz also received the largest single grant awarded this year.

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“The feeling was that the [remaining] money in the funds are being held back to support any other worthy causes that may present themselves later in the year,” Steckler said.

He added that he offered to set up a work session with Jazz organizers to try to determine another way to come up with the funds.

Noone said the budget for Summer of Jazz was cut from $110,000 in 2008 to $85,000 for 2009, in anticipation of tighter funding sources. However, he said that they weren’t conservative enough.

“We went forward this year in March with the reduced budget, expecting that there would be a reduction in revenues this year given the general state of the economy,” Noone said. “We didn’t anticipate the extent that the economy would continue to decline in the spring and summer.”

He said that all of the bands have been paid for their performances this year. But the remaining balance is to cover production costs such as sound system and lighting, security, printing and advertising, T-shirts and portable toilets.

Noone said he does not get paid for his role in the series, but Mary gets $3,700 for her part as director. Another $7,500 is also split between Mary and another co-director throughout the season.

If they are able to come up with the money this year to pay off the outstanding bills, Noone said that they would go forward with fundraising for next year’s series. However, he said that the number of shows would depend on how much money was raised.

“Going forward will be on a cash-based approach,” Noone said. “The amount of shows will be capped by the funding that is received by March 15, 2010. If we have enough for two concerts, then we have two concerts.”

He added that he wasn’t expecting any contributed funds from the city next year, and that, in and of itself, could also hugely impact the series. But he said that Summer of Jazz has been a community event supported by Glenwood Springs for 24 years. And it’s that community that will keep it going if they want it.

“You appeal to the people you know who come out each week and enjoy it,” Noone said.

And he’s hoping that residents will show their support, so that there can be a full quarter-century of Summer of Jazz.

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