Hello and Welcome to the 2018-2019 Season,
This will be the 73rd season for our Concert Association and we hope that when it’s over that you will agree it has been the most enjoyable season that you can remember. As many of you know, this season almost didn’t happen. Funds were drying up and volunteers were scarce, putting a greater and greater load on fewer and fewer people. It looked like we might be seeing the death of something very dear and important to this Valley. However, when last year’s president, Bob Covington, put out a call for help to save the Concert Association, people in our Valley stepped up. A few of you wrote checks, a few volunteered to serve on the board and today, on behalf of the board of directors, I am pleased to be able to tell you that the Indian Wells Valley Concert Association is off life support and charging forward to a great season and thriving future.
The board and other volunteers have spent much time looking for clues as to what factors contributed to the decline over the years. We’ve also talked in detail about what changes could be made to not merely have 1 more season, but more importantly what would keep the Concert Association healthy and growing well into the future? So here they are, these are the adjustments that we are confident will have positive impacts for years to come, and we hope you will agree and enjoy the rewards starting with our very first show this season.
- A different caliber of artist. While of course there have been many excellent artists performing for you over the years, we are focusing on making sure that we are bringing in exceptional programs that are so good people would be willing to travel to see them if they had to. The results already have been very encouraging, be prepared to be very impressed when you look over the enclosed schedule of events.
- Price changes. The IWVCA brings significant value to this. community just by bringing these shows here so valley dwellers don’t have to drive for hours just to see a live concert. Therefore, to more closely match the price of tickets to the value the Concert Association brings to the Valley by hosting these local shows, we are changing the pricing and discount structures. This season there will be 8 concerts offered. Since its very likely that not everyone will want to attend all 8 shows, three different packages of shows are being offered. The Reserved A section and Reserved B section prices still exist within the package prices, but the Unreserved is no longer being offered. The discounts for Age or Military Service etc. are already included in the Package prices. However over 65, under25 and Active Military will continue to be offered a 10% discount on the individual concert tickets.
- In addition to the large need for more revenue the board has also had to try and find a cure for the problem of seats sitting empty during a concert even though they have been paid for. So, this season Reserved seats will only be Reserved until 15 minutes before showtime. To be clear, if you hold a season ticket with a Reserved seat number but you have not taken your seat 15 minutes before show time, that seat will be made available to the walk-up customers.
- A related change that will be in place this year is that there will be no seating after the start of the show until Intermission or some other break in the artist’s presentation. To make allowance for ticket holders with unforeseen difficulties arriving on time, if a latecomer is willing to climb the stairs and sit in the back section, the ushers will facilitate that unobtrusive seating in between songs.
- Three of this season’s events will be held at the Desert Valleys Fairground facilities. Due to a very significant upgrading of chairs, sound and lighting systems, the former Mesquite Hall, now called the Desert Valleys Hall, has become a much more satisfactory place to hold a concert. As you’ll see in the accompanying schedule of events brochure, the two we’ll be having in that room are going to be fantastic.
- For the first time (that I could find a record of) The Indian Wells Valley Concert Association will be offering you “Dinner and a Concert.” This event will be held in Sage Hall at the Fairgrounds. This event will feature a fantastic meal catered by Kimberly Parent, of RDK Catering. We’ll have some entertainment during the meal and then after a short break, we will be treated to a full-length concert from the very talented ladies of Take Three.
- The tax deductible “Additional Contributions” categories will be expanded this year. as before, you will still be able to support our “Local Presentation” Fund. These funds get budgeted to cover the added costs our Association incurs since we are so far off the beaten path. As you well know, lodging, meals and transportation costs are all impacted by the distance we are from well, anything but sunshine and sand, so these funds level the playing field when we are trying to attract top level national and international artists.
Because every member I’ve spoken to so far, almost without exception, has told me that the Student Education Program is an important program to them, we paid for 6 Student Shows this year, doubling the number we were able to have last year. I’m confident that you will be pleased with a change for this program as well, in that one of the Student Shows will be Tea for Three which, as you’ll see, will give them a recent U.S. history program, to complement the seasons other musical programs.
The additional category will be the DART grant. Which was implemented for the last concert of the season this past Spring, this program provides DART with 10 unreserved tickets for each of our concerts and covers their costs for transportation and support staff as needed. The added transportation funding in particular allows some of Dart’s clients to be able to get to show they might have no way of ever seeing otherwise.
- We have added a professional team to oversee all aspects of our sound and lighting. Our expectation in doing this is that there will no longer be areas in the theater where the sound is mushy as some reported last year. More importantly, this is a step in reaching a higher standard of excellence for all the aspects of your concert experience.
- Community outreach and financial sustainability efforts. The board is very committed to attempting to re-establish in the community’s mind the very strong value that the IWVCA brings to this valley. We are committed to working from two core commitments: 1. We will strive to always give more in value than we ask in payment. 2. We will measure our success by the number of people we serve. With those in mind, I will close this letter by asking for your help.
I need introductions, invitations and an infusion. Invitations to speak to groups of people who would be interested in knowing what the Concert Association is attempting to do for this valley.
Introductions to individuals who are also working to bring value to the valley in some way or who use their financial resources to help those who are. These connections will help me do my job well so that this can truly be a year that marks a significant turning point for our Association. The needed infusion as you can easily guess is of cash. Please consider supporting one of our “Additional Contribution Categories”. While we as a Board are very committed to pushing the envelope in all sorts of ways this year from artist selection as you can already see, to new social media and internet marketing, to much stronger promotion to the general community, we will be able to have a much more immediate impact if we have funds to work with. We expect to sell a lot of tickets this year, but our biggest draws aren’t until the second half of the season. So consider funding one of those categories or how about sponsoring a show that you are particularly excited about.
My promise to you is that this season will be one filled with truly enjoyable entertainment and I thank you most sincerely for your support.
Questions, concerns or compliments, feel free to call me at 760-377-3267 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Julius “Hap” Botelho
Indian Wells Valley Concert Association