2021 Annual Membership Meeting Report

Report By Dawoud Kringle

On Tuesday, December 7th, 2021, MFM held its annual membership meeting via Zoom conference. David Belmont hosted. The meeting began with the attendees introducing themselves.

David Belmont presented the 2020 Financial Report. The net revenues from membership dues increased from $2864 in 2020 to $4174 in 2021, and T-shirt sales were up 60%. However, fundraiser contributions, DBDBD CD review contributions, and ticket sale revenues were drastically reduced in 2021. The overall revenue stream for 2021 was 31% down from last year. However, MFM Operating Expenses were down by 47% from last year. The total revenues for 2021 showed a 7% increase from the previous year. One piece of good news was that Ladjevardi, who had financed MFM in its beginning years, has not had to loan the organization money for the past two years. Belmont mentioned that since we had two similar years in our accounting, MFM has a surplus of approximately $1600. He suggested we begin to repay Ladjevardi for his loans; perhaps as early as 2022.

Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi gave a very detailed and passionate report about the Membership Drive and gave an overview of our new members. While we have yet to achieve our goals for new members, the membership drive has been successful so far; our membership has increased by 53%. The membership drive has been extended through 12/31/21.

The vote for 2022 board members was tabulated. 33 members voted (17 in person, 13 via email, and 3 via text: a total of 33 members out of 47 eligible voting members). The results of the vote are as follows:

Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi – President & Treasurer

David Belmont – Vice President

Stephen Johnson – Hudson Valley Chapter leader

Keith Levenson, Mario Guarneri, Roger Blanc, Barry Heyman – Board of Directors

(Unfortunately, our senior officer and member Billy Harper resigned from the board due to health issues. We wish him well, and thank him for his years of service).

Congrats to the new Board!!!!

Roger Blanc offered the 2020 MFM Achievement Report & 2020 MFM Goals and New Tasks Report. He spoke at length on some of our recent achievements concentrating on our many webinars. Looking ahead to 2022, we are looking at the possibility of mentoring and teaching programs, and other services that can be offered the music community.

A report on the MFM Hudson Valley Chapter was given by Stephen Johnson. After offering supportive comments about the mentorship possibilities (including setting up something in his chapter), he gave an outline of the contemporary Kingston NY area music scene. Some interaction between Kingston and the scenes in NYC and Albany have been happening. This is injecting life into the dormancy created by the pandemic. He mentioned that the general consensus among the upstate chapter, and musicians trying to activate the music scene, is that they are trying to avoid seeking funding and / or stipends from outside sources, concentrating on their own autonomous efforts to build the business aspect of their music. Mention was made of the problems created by vaccine passport restrictions.

Up next was Mario Guarneri. He gave a report on our friends in the IMA (Independent Musicians Alliance). They are holding a membership drive concurrent with ours. They are also hosting the Jazzmobile concerts. They are paying each participating musician $150 per gig; and requiring them to become IMA members (a carrot-and-the-stick model).

Keith Levenson offered a brief comment on the mentoring efforts. His work in helping musicians with Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) was acknowledged.

Finally, Adam Reifsteck spoke about the work with the MFM Speaks Out podcast (the author of this report, and co-host of the podcast, Dawoud Kringle, was not able to attend). He mentioned that we have published 33 episodes of the podcast, and have had a total of over 1300 downloads. The US holds the majority of our geographic audience, followed by Germany, France, the UK, and elsewhere. The majority of the listeners are accessing it through our website. He gave some other relevant stats. Reifsteck concentrated mainly on musician’s rights issues, whereas Kringle concentrated mainly on music / artistic subjects – with an 80/20% ratio between the two hosts and their guests. The music aspects invoked a larger response from the audience. However, the plan for 2022 is to balance this 50/50.

All in all, while a lot of improvement is indicated, we are achieving a lot of great things. It’s important to keep up the work, and reap the rewards that await us.