ARS Spring 2024 Board Meeting Recap

The ARS Spring 2024 Board Meeting took place on April 5-7 on Zoom. On Friday evening, we began with a productive brainstorming session to identify the most important things that the ARS can do to attract new members while retaining current ones.  ARS experienced a welcome membership increase during the pandemic, largely attributed to our popular and successful online classes for beginners. Now memberships are starting to revert to pre-pandemic levels, which tells the Board to look for more new ways to support our recorder community. The ARS has several initiatives planned and underway to address the need for more diverse and younger members, and you’ll hear about them in the months to come.  
The Board meeting activities were varied; everyone was happy to meet and talk with our newly hired AR Magazine Managing Editor, Geoffrey Burgess, who shared his ideas for future topics in the magazine. Three current Board members were appointed for an additional two years, and a nominee was chosen for the Presidential Special Honor Award, to be presented at the Berkeley Early Music Festival and Exhibition in the summer.  Standing committees reported on their activities and projects:
  • Several scholarships and grants awarded by ARS so far this year, with more to come;
  • The Membership Benefits committee was restructured and began planning incentives for forming new ARS chapters, Zoom orientation sessions for new ARS members, and an online walk-through of the ARS website;  
  • The Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee contacted 50 historically black colleges and universities, especially those with strong music education departments, and is preparing a series of ARS NEWS articles with ideas for ARS chapters on attracting  members;
  • The ARS Fundraising plan was updated;
  • The ARS website was updated to make it easier for new members to join and current members to renew.  In addition, the ARS music libraries continued their growth, with the current count of compositions and arrangements exceeding 700 pieces.
Submitted by Judy Smutek, ARS Board secretary