[JPL] IAJE Letter

TomtheJazzman tomthejazzman at embarqmail.com
Fri Apr 18 17:24:59 EDT 2008

It is with great disappointment that I received this confirming letter 
from IAJE
minutes ago after reading about it in the Seattle Newspaper this 
morning.  Maybe
this is a symptom of the issues with IAJE.

Sadly I read between the lines and fear scholarship money has been 
co-mingled with
other funds rather than being separate and paying out only on the 
interest of the

I have hope this wake up call will give birth to a new organization that 
will be more
responsible, creative and worthwhile for us Jazzers.  Any new 
organization has to
have a very good business focus with checks and balances while being 
streamlined to
yield cost efficiency.
Sadly yours, Now I got the BLUES for sure.


IAJE <http://www.iaje.org/>

	*Dear IAJE Family,*

It is with a great sense of loss that I inform you that despite drastic 
efforts to cut expenses and raise emergency funds, the IAJE Board has 
voted to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Federal Bankruptcy 
Law. I want to thank profusely those who responded with their generous 
donations and offers of assistance following my last communication. 
While over 250 individuals contributed just over $12,000, this, along 
with the many other efforts and contributions of IAJE staff, Board 
members, and association partners, was simply not enough to address the 
accumulated debt of the organization or its urgent need for cash relief.

In the next few days, a Kansas bankruptcy court will appoint a trustee 
to oversee all ongoing aspects of the association. This includes the 
ability to examine IAJE's financial records and mount an independent 
inquiry into the causes of it's financial downfall as well as disposing 
of the remaining assets of the association with proceeds distributed to 
creditors in accordance with Kansas and Federal law. The board will no 
longer be involved in operation of the organization and will at some 
point resign. IAJE as it presently stands will no longer exist.

Approximately a week after filing, all potential creditors of the 
association will receive notice of the association's filing from the 
court. Members who desire additional information regarding the petition, 
including a complete listing of association assets and liabilities, may 
retrieve this, as it is a public document, through normal court 
procedures. Undoubtedly, however, you will have more immediate questions 
deserving of responses I hope to address in this report.

Since the first communication to the membership outlining this crisis, 
there has been considerable public speculation as to its causes. As 
noted in that communication, years of dependence upon the conference as 
a primary (but unreliable) revenue stream and the launch of a 
well-intentioned capital campaign (the Campaign for Jazz), which 
generated a meager response but required considerable expenditures in 
advance of contributions, drove the association into insolvency. Sadly, 
the attendance at the conference in Toronto (the lowest in 10 years) 
exacerbated an already critical situation, depriving the association of 
the cash-flow needed to continue daily operations as well as the time 
needed to seek alternative resources.

While ultimately not able to skirt the financial land mines placed in 
its path, I want to assure you the IAJE Board has acted responsibly, 
ethically, and with a sense of urgency ever since it was blindsided last 
fall with the discovery of the extent of the accumulated association 
debt. Since that time, the board slashed spending, set specific 
performance targets for the Executive Director, sought outside 
consultations, and enlisted the services of several past-presidents and 
strategic association partners in attempts to raise funds - sadly, with 
minimal success.

It goes without saying, the board you elected is comprised of very 
accomplished, intelligent, and dedicated educators and professionals who 
have given generously of their time in service to this association and 
care about it passionately. Likewise, our entire professional staff, led 
by Associate Executive Director, Vivian Orndorff, and Executive 
Producer, Steve Baker, has worked heroically in the face of declining 
resources to meet the needs of the association and its members. I wanted 
to take this opportunity to thank both the board and staff for their 
service. I have been privileged and honored to serve with them. While 
there may be those who question specific decisions or strategies in 
efforts to meet this crisis, the dedication and integrity of these 
individuals should never be in doubt.

As we move forward, one of the most pressing questions is how the 
operations of individual chapters and affiliated associations will be 
affected by this filing. Since our chapters are either separate 
corporate entitles or voluntary associations with their own boards, 
constitutions and bylaws; IAJE views them as completely independent 
entities. Ultimately, however, the trustee and the court will make this 
determination and it is anticipated that the trustee may request certain 
information from the chapters in this regard.

Sadly, the 2009 IAJE International Conference in Seattle has been 
cancelled. However, there has been some discussion of mounting a 
regional conference in its place. At the moment, Lou Fischer, U.S. Board 
Representative is fielding inquiries: ljazzmanf at yahoo.com 
<mailto:ljazzmanf at yahoo.com>.

For the time being, the IAJE website will remain up. However, the 
international offices of IAJE will close their doors at the end of the 
day on Friday, April 18th. Should there be additional questions you may 
submit them to info at iaje.org <mailto:info at iaje.org> and every attempt 
will be made to respond to these as staffing allows.

Today, we, the members of IAJE and the global jazz community, face an 
extremely important task. For, as we all recognize, the opportunities, 
impact, and work of this association are too vital to simply disappear. 
Whether you were first drawn to IAJE for its conference, its magazine or 
research publications, its student scholarship programs such as Sisters 
in Jazz or the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All-Stars, its Teacher Training 
Institutes, the resources provided through its website or Resource Team, 
or any one of a number of other offerings; it is clear the mission of 
IAJE still resonates and its advocacy is needed today more than ever. We 
must, therefore, look at this as an opportunity to refocus the mission, 
scope, programs, and vision of IAJE (or whatever succeeds it) to better 
meet the needs of our members and the jazz community not only today but 
looking toward the future.

I am, in no way, suggesting the membership turn a blind eye towards the 
need for an independent inquiry into causes and ultimately assigning 
responsibility for this situation. I ask you recognize the court 
appointed trustee, who will have access to all necessary documents and 
facts, is charged with that task. Our efforts and our passion, should be 
to collectively rally the community to recognize the importance IAJE has 
had and continues to have in the life and development of jazz and jazz 
education - seeking new strategic partnerships, new government 
structures, and a revitalized mission that embraces current needs.

Already there are efforts to do just that. I know that Mary Jo Papich, 
who would have begun serving her term as President of IAJE beginning 
this July, is dedicated to recreating such an association. As many know, 
Mary Jo has been a tireless advocate for IAJE, serving it long and well. 
You will, undoubtedly, be hearing from her in the near future. When she 
does contact you, I urge you to join me in offering her every support 
and assistance. Of course, others may also seek to fill this void by 
promoting alternative visions for empowering, serving, and gathering the 
jazz community. While I generally believe such diversity is quite 
healthy, I would strongly encourage all such efforts and leaders to 
attempt to collaborate and seek ways to unite us in spirit and strength.

Finally, I would encourage you to recognize and remember IAJE for all 
the tremendous good it has done in the past 40 years. Many individuals 
have contributed along the way, often at considerable personal sacrifice 
of their time and resources, to establish and advance the work of this 
association. Much has been achieved that can never be taken away! 
Therefore, the vision, effort, and shared passion that have fueled the 
growth of IAJE and its programs should not be forgotten or considered in 
vain. Rather, the spirit that is IAJE must be rekindled into a new 
vision for the future.


The IAJE Board - Chuck Owen, President

This message has been sent to you by the International Association for 
Jazz Education, PO Box 724, Manhattan KS 66502, USA . info at iaje.org 
<mailto:info at iaje.org> . (785) 776-8744


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