ACHF Arts Access
Our goal for presenting a yearly music festival in our area is to provide entertainment and education to our community members who may not normally be able to see and hear in person, high-quality music and performance in different genres of music. We can help our community overcome geographic and economic barriers to accessing high-quality musical performances close to home. In doing this we believe that we are also playing our part in instilling the arts into our community and the public life of our region. The New London Music Festival has become a yearly tradition here where people can come, enjoy the day, and experience live the rich musical tradition of our region and our country. This is very much in tune with the civic direction of New London - to make the arts an everyday part of community life. Part of this goal is to increase the number of attendees between the ages of 25 - 50 as they have been under-represented in our audiences. Each year the Festival Committee reviews survey forms, which are given to each attendee. Attendees are given an incentive to return the forms by the award of a cash door prize given to a randomly selected person who has filled out a survey form. The results of the survey tell us a lot about the demographics of our audience (home town and age), what they liked and disliked about the music and the artists, and what we can do better for next year. We also closely review attendance based on ticket sales and monitor comments left on our Facebook site. Comments, both from the survey and from Facebook, are very useful as they help give us a sense as to what genres of music are interesting and valued by our audience and what new areas we might explore. A meeting of the committee is held within a month after the Festival to read, analyze, and discuss the results and plan for the coming year. Success for us will be measured in total attendance, attendance increases within the 25 - 50 age group, and increases in approval ratings from year to year.
Attendees came from 14 Minnesota counties, 2 other states, plus Canada (2016 had attendees from 11 counties and 1 other state). Attendees liked the music quality and selection of artists - 66% rated it as excellent, 32% as good or satisfactory, and 2% as poor. Attendees were generally satisfied with the pricing of tickets - 84% rated the cost as either a bargain or just right. 16% thought that the price was too high. We received numerous comments and suggestions of musical groups for next year's show.
Other, local or private
2017 Music Festival
John White: writer, photographer, retired journalist; Georgette Jones: literature teacher, theatre actor/director/teacher; Marilee Strom: musician, former art teacher, business owner; Kathy Fransen: musician, theatre, Rhythm of the River coordinator; Janet Olney: visual artist, Willmar Area Arts Council coordinator; Joyce Meyer: photographer, retired art teacher, Canby Arts Council; Pam Blake: retired art teacher, visual arts, Tyler Arts Council, Southwest Minnesota Weaver's Guild; Michele Knife Sterner: theatre actor, Southwestern Minnesota State University Associate Director for Access Opportunity Success program; Tom Wirt: artist, owner of Clay Coyote Gallery, Hutchinson Center for the Arts, past member of Hutchinson Public Arts Commission; Joyce Aakre: visual arts, writing, Discover Dassel committee, Board member for Litchfield Community Education, Exhibit committee for Dassel Area Historical Society; Kelly Muldoon: graphic artist, Prairie Music Association, Prairie Oasis Players; Dan Wahl: writer, visual artist, director, adjunct English instructor at Southwest Minnesota State University; Anne O'Keefe-Jackson: human resources director, bead and quill work; Cindy Reverts: visual artist, Rock County Fine Arts Association treasurer, Council for Arts in Humanities in Rock County; Brett Lehman: Worthington International Festival, Worthington City Band, Worthington Concert Association; Reggie Gorter: vocalist, theatre, voice and dance teacher; Dana Johnson: producer/filmmaker; Claire Swanson: visual arts, arts teacher, Meander Art Crawl Committee.
Joyce Aakre: visual arts, writing, Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Board; Ron Porep: Arts administration; Ruth Ascher: arts administration; Sheila Tabaka: Theatre; Cheryl Avenel-Navara: Arts appreciator; John Voit: Music, theatre; Joyce Meyer: visual arts, Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Board; Tom Wirt: visual arts, Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Board.