Only 316 days away: The 50th Annual Alaska Folk Festival, April 7-13, 2025

Planning the Festival

Alaska Folk Festival planning meetings are being held online. Please contact a board member if you are intersted in attending. These board meetings are open to everyone who wants to be involved and lend a hand to make the next Folk Fest happen.

Generally speaking, AFF Board meetings take place at 6:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. If you want to attend or have an agenda item, please verify the meeting time and means.

SCHEDULING FUTURE FOLK FEST DATES

  • AFF 49 April 8-14 2024 (Easter is March 31) [not scheduled with venue yet] Set-up day is April 7
  • AFF 50 April 7-13 2025 (Easter is April 20) ][not scheduled with venue yet] Set-up day is April 6

FUTURE EASTER SUNDAYS

  • March 31, 2024
  • April 20, 2025
  • April 5, 2026
  • March 28, 2027
  • April 16, 2028
  • April 1, 2029
  • April 21, 2030

AFF REGULAR BOARD MEETINGS

Board meetings generally occur monthly and are less frequent in the summer. Meetings are more frequent in the months before Folk Fest.

NEWSLETTERS

Four newsletters are prepared each year, published approximately in January, May, September, October. Additional newsletters will be published as needed. Each newsletter costs money to print and mail, but they are great way to inform supporters and mobilize the volunteers for each amazing festival. Each newsletter also provides a membership form for new and renewing members to sustain the Folk Fest.

Once a year, the newsletter should have the USPS label endorsement in a USPS approved location “RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED” [the current (2004) USPS wording]. This will mean newsletters sent to bad addresses will be returned to us (with a postage due charge, a necessary cost to make the database person’s life easier) so that the database can be updated and dead addresses culled. The MAY NEWSLETTER is probably a good time for this because being a small newsletter, the returns will only cost us one ounce of postage.

The newsletters will ALWAYS contain Membership Form (backing it against the mailing label area in the layout is best).

Other newsletter items usually include a list of Board Members, AFF contact information, membership solicitation.

POSTER ART & MERCHANDISE

Art work is solicited with a fall due date for submissions. Merchandise is worked on from December (maybe) or January (definitely).

GUEST ARTIST

Work on Guest Artist is on-going. We need to start nailing down the next Guest Artists following the finish of the AFF, in April.

FOLK FEST VENUES

  • Centennial Hall — We can schedule up to seven years ahead (the rules as of 2003).
  • JACC — The Armory may go away at some point as a dance venue, or may morph into something else run by someone else that may (or may not) be available as a dance venue.
  • ANB Hall — The hall is not available on Saturday nights. Bingo trumps ALL other activities—even the Biennial Celebration!

FUNDRAISING CONCERTS

Possibilities for fundraising concerts come up from time to time. Some we go for, some we don’t. It often depends on how much enthusiasm there is on the board for a particular artist. We want to avoid losing money on concerts, though breaking even is okay. There are ways to effectively raise funds for the Folk Fest and enjoy a great concert. Scheduling a date without conflicting events is sometimes difficult.

MONTHLY CALENDAR

January

  • Meetings: Two
    • One meeting early in month to schedule Board meetings through the Festival and get organized for the up coming newsletter (with the performer application) and the push to the AFF start.
    • One meeting to get the Newsletter mailing ready to take to the Post Office. This newsletter meeting will take place 11 to 12 weeks before the start of the AFF.
  • Newsletter
    • Will contain the Performer Application, Volunteer application, articles about Guest Artists, Membership Form, articles about volunteering, becoming a member.
    • Mailed approximately mid-January, depending on when the AFF starts.
    • [Note: The Performer Applications are DUE IN OUR HAND at least 5 weeks before the Festival. We send out the Tentative Schedule by the Friday following the due date, a MONTH before the start of the AFF. This policy (dating from 1992) was in answer to complaints from performers wanting time to make travel arrangements after the Tentative Schedule was made available. Therefore, the January Newsletter MUST be mailed out at least 10 weeks before the festival starts (to give the newsletter time to be delivered) via USPS Bulk Mail (out of country newsletters HAVE to go First Class mail). Since the change to Bulk mailing of newsletters, mailing the January newsletter 11-12 weeks before the AFF is advised.]
  • Guest Artists
    • Plans for the Guest Artists need to be finalized before the January Newsletter goes to press. Travel and housing arrangements should be progressing.
  • Chief Sound Engineer
    • We should have the Chief Sound Engineer signed up by now, along with any assistant, plus a Sound Engineer for the dance venue.
  • Merchandise
    • Lots of work to on this front for the next several weeks.
  • Renew permit
    • $175/yr USPS non-profit mailing permit #194.
  • Tax filing
    • AFF federal tax form 990 is due Feb. 15 for previous fiscal year Oct 1 to Sep 30.
    • A second copy should be filed with the Alaska Dept. of Revenue.
    • https://efile.form990.org/

February

  • Meetings (several)
    • Weekly meetings begin with the Performer Scheduling Meeting [Note: The Scheduling meeting and the Tentative Schedule mailing party take place either in LATE February or EARLY March, depending on the DUE DATE for the Performer Applications which in turn depends on the start date of the AFF. See below for details.]
    • Performer Scheduling Meeting — will take place either the evening of the Performer Application due date or very shortly there after.
      • The Performer Scheduling Meeting will be on, or very shortly after, the Performer Application due date.
      • Performer Applications are due in our hands NO LATER THAN five weeks before the festival (such as the Friday, five weeks and three days before AFF).
      • The 'more than five weeks before' date may end up in late February or early March depending on the AFF actual start date.
    • Tentative Schedule Mailing Meeting — not later than the Friday after the Performer Application due date.
      • We will get the Tentative Schedule in the mail on or before the Friday following the scheduling meeting, a little more than four weeks before the festival starts at a minimum. The Tentative Schedule with Cover Letter (containing essential performer information) will be mailed First Class to all the performer applicants (whether in the schedule or not) in sealed (USPS requirement) envelopes with number buttons.
  • Number Buttons
    • Need to be ordered NO LATER THAN early February to assure they arrive before the Tentative Schedule gets mailed.
  • Proxy Cards
    • We could mail the Proxy Cards, anytime in February. The Bylaws say 90-20 days before the Annual Meeting during the AFF.
  • Merchandise
    • The work continues.
  • AFF Program
    • Need to arrange for a program designer by early February.
    • Need to start on soliciting program advertising early February.
  • Child Care
    • This often seems hard to arrange, so work should start in February.

March

  • Meetings (weekly until the Folk Fest)
    • Scheduling meeting in late February or early March depending on the Performer Application due date. [See details above]
    • Mail tentative schedule to performers ASAP after application due date, usually a lunch time meeting since it should barely take an hour.
    • Weekly Planning meetings begin with the performer scheduling meeting.
    • Meeting w/Centennial Hall, approx. two weeks before AFF.
  • Proxy Cards
    • Mail Proxies in early March, at the latest, if they did not go out in February, 90-20 days before the meeting (according to the Bylaws).

April

  • Meetings
    • Several
      • Pre-Festival Meeting with Centennial Hall Staff a couple weeks before AFF start (in March, most years)
      • Board Meetings, weekly, up to the week before the festival.
      • AFF set up day — Sunday before Folk Fest starts, probably 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
      • AFF Annual Meeting: Held during the AFF (according to the Bylaws), traditionally held on the Friday of AFF
      • Postmortem meeting with Centennial Hall (not always held, in the past). We can compare notes on charges and discuss issues, if needed. In recent years, the meeting has just been one of us going in.
      • Post-festival AFF Board meeting including an election of officers for the coming year and a postmortem, as soon as possible after Folk Fest (May at latest).

May

  • Meetings
    • One or perhaps two if the postmortem meeting is delayed. There will be a newsletter mailing party at the very least. A second may be needed if work on Guest Artists needs discussion.
  • Newsletter
    • Mail this by mid-May (waiting too late risks running into the slackening Post-AFF enthusiasm of Board members). The newsletter should contain a membership form, any post-AFF summaries, plus a listing of the new board and all the other normal newsletter bits, and any solicitations we want to make (like artwork submissions for the next poster) and. The newsletter should have the USPS label endorsement in the USPS approved location ÒRETURN SERVICE REQUESTEDÓ [the current (2004) USPS wording] to allow culling out dead addresses from the database and keeping up with folks who have moved and didnÕt tell us. Newsletters that canÕt be delivered are returned to us (we have to pay First Class postage due). This costs us money, but we can delete dead addresses, which saves money.
  • Guest Artists
    • We need to be working on Guest Artists, if we have not signed anyone.
  • Calendar Future AFF Events
    • At this point with the AFF just finished, we should have four AFFs in the Centennial Hall calendar. Schedule the 5th future AFF at this time. There is a $500 non-refundable deposit (as of 2004). We are allowed currently (as of 2004) to schedule ahead as much as seven years at Centennial Hall. We have opted for five year advance planning on dates. See the end of this document for details on AFF date scheduling.
    • The historic criteria for scheduling AFF dates: First full week in April if it does NOT end on Easter, or the Second full week if the First full week does not work (This criteria hasn’t always been followed). With the advent of the Juneau Rotary Pillars series, we ALSO try to avoid the Third Wednesday in April.
    • We schedule the Sunday before the Festival as our Set-up day, just renting the ballroom, and the week from Monday 8 a.m. through Sunday renting the entire facility.
    • Past examples:
      • AFF28 April 8-14, 2002 [Easter: 3/31/2002] Set-up: April 7th
      • AFF29 April 7-13, 2003 [Easter: 4/20/2003] Set-up: April 6th
      • AFF30 April 12-18, 2004 [Easter: 4/11/04] Set-up: April 11th

June

  • Meetings
    • Usually none
  • BIENNIAL NON-PROFIT REPORT
    • Due in even number years — 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, etc.
    • Six-month grace period before a corporation will be INVOLUNTARILY dissolved.
    • Next due July 1, 2022, LATE FEE PENALTY
    • State of Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development.

July

  • Meetings
    • Usually none
  • Grant Action
    • Apply for CBJ Grant ASAP after July 1
    • Money may run out so apply early for “Local Non-Profit Application for Subsidized Use of Centennial Hall”

August

  • Meetings
    • None, or one if we have something needing to be worked on, like a September concert or Guest Artists decision.
  • Newsletter
    • If there is an early September concert, we might want to do a newsletter for the advertising value
  • Guest Artists
    • If there are no board meetings, work is going on behind the scenes.
  • Concert
    • Work on any concert for September, if we have one scheduled

September

  • Meetings
    • Usually one, maybe two if we have need.
  • Newsletter
    • Newsletter should precede any concert. This might be a month for the first newsletter of the fall, especially if we feel we need to solicit for poster art or contact the membership about other items.
  • Financial Action
    • End of Fiscal Year: Sept 30
      • IRS Tax Form 990EZ must be filed NO LATER THAN February 15th
      • FILING PENALTY: Yes
      • Use website: https://efile.form990.org/
      • A copy of the 990 form must also go to Alaska Dept. of Revenue, Tax Division
  • Guest Artist
    • Should be working toward engaging Guest Artists.
  • Fundraising Concerts
    • This might be a good month for a concert.
    • NovemberFest?
      • If we are going to do a NovemberFest, this would be a good time (by mid-month) to start venue scheduling and other preparations.

October

  • Meetings
    • Usually one, a second if we are doing a concert, perhaps.
  • Dance Venue:
    • 1st of month — If the JACC is still available, contact about using Armory for the up coming AFF. They may tell us to check back after the first of the year.
  • Guest Artists
    • Continue working on Guest Artists.
  • Chief Sound Engineer
    • Should be close to securing a Chief Sound Engineer

November

  • Meetings
    • Usually one, a second if we are doing a NovemberFest, perhaps.
  • Guest Artists
    • Continue working on Guest Artists.
    • Deadline for AFF inclusion in Sing Out! Jan-Apr festival list [Dec 2 or so is the deadline]
  • Concert
    • NovemberFest?
    • Other?

December

  • Meetings
    • Often we don’t have one, except maybe early in the month when we may feel we need to deal with Guest Artists, artwork, merchandise, or other issues.
  • Domain Name and Web Hosting Renewal
    • Due the 7th of January, so don’t wait too long.
      • akfolkfest.org (Reg. 2006)
      • alaskafolkfestival.org (Reg. 2006)