[JPL] IAJE Letter

Fredejazz at aol.com Fredejazz at aol.com
Sat Apr 19 14:43:31 EDT 2008


It seems to me to be quite unfortunate mis-management & poor planning,  to 
have a huge association with a huge membership, and huge turn outs at  
conferences to over spend their budgets! 
I'm also a member of NATO, as a movie exhibitor, & they turn out a  
considerable profit.
What an opportunity IAJE's database presents as a resource for  jazz 
promotion !
Freddie J 
 
 
In a message dated 4/18/2008 5:26:14 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
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++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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
investments.

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.

ALOHA
Tom

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

Sincerely,


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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