Letter from Don Burnham

From The Folknik Jul/Aug 2000

Dear SFFMC, the Folknik, and the Bay Area music community Ė

I see that my SFFMC dues are due this millennium year (August). Please find my check (coming by snail mail) for another ten years of SFFMC membership. Ten years ago, when I paid my advance dues, the year 2000 seemed an imaginary, illusory destination, but the destination has come and gone in what now seems like a blink of an eye. We are headed for 2001 in a few short months!

For me, our unique music community endures as one of the most significant and fulfilling blessings of life here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I suppose most of you feel the same appreciation. For a number of years now, I have kicked around some ideas with a few of you regarding the future of our community. The Millennium milestone propels me to attempt a more public proposal for your consideration.

And here goes:

I canít remember when I was first introduced to SFFMC. It was in the early sixties I was invited to Faithís house? Too long ago for me to remember the specifics. For me this represents thirty-six plus years of significant fellowship and darn near family! So many great memories, but no time for reminiscences here, I am concerned about the future. With collective interest, enthusiasm and effort, the future for our community could mean:

Finding a building/site in the Presidio/GGNRA which could house a (proposed) San Francisco Folk Music Center!! Now is the time to act to find such a venue. This building/property ideally could contain enough space for:

        Gatherings large and small of our members, families and friends

        Performance spaces

        Rehearsal spaces

        Dance spaces

        Teaching spaces

        Storage ?? equipment/instruments

        A place for the SFFMC music library

        Administrative space for the club as well as affiliated organizations who could share

        Central location for SFFMC computer, website, etc.

        Perhaps a radio/TV broadcast capability (Internet?)

        Perhaps campsites!!

        Hereís a location for the Folk Festival

        Hereís the new Ploughshares!

        Here is perhaps a dancing mecca!

        Here is a place with PARKING and public transportation

All our diverse groups might share under an umbrella? Iím talking SFFMC, the folk eaters/pickers, the folk dance community, the Irish music folks, the bluegrass people, the swing people, the Freedom songsters, and the old time players, the singing groups, etc. etc. All the others too I didnít mention.

Sharing space reduces costs in the long run and big picture. The central location in GGNRA could be ideal for such collaboration.

A San Francisco Folk Music Center would be instrumental in perpetuating traditional music and the music communities here in the Bay Area.

I propose such a facility for your consideration.

Additionally, I propose that the new Folk Music Center be named the Faith C. Petric Folk Music Center to honor our Faith and all she has done to enrich us and hold us together these many years.

Let the discussion and planning begin now to ensure that our great music community continues to thrive here in the Bay Area. We will need everyoneís enthusiasm and talent to make this happen but it is surely doable, and its time has come.

- Don Burnham

Don hopes that someone will take this idea and run with it. How about you and you and you??

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