Dear Community of the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance,
The board of directors and staff of NERFA have spent the past two months reviewing, researching, and weighing our options with respect to hosting an in-person conference in person this November. Regrettably, we cannot do so. We have begun our pivot to discussions of 2022 since it is our firm belief that we will be able to gather again at that time and welcome each other with open arms (or, for safety’s sake, open elbows).
The decision is driven by a combination of health, safety, and fiscal concerns.
The strength of our annual gathering has historically been driven by our connections: the song circles, mentoring, workshops, and the packed hotel rooms of friends and strangers discovering new and astounding artists. To try to gather this year would require restrictions that would qualitatively change the nature of our conference to something that, simply speaking, wouldn’t be the NERFA that we all love. At a time when music professionals are having to redefine and recreate their means for generating income, expecting those same individuals to afford a four-day conference feels tone-deaf.
There are silver linings. NERFA is now hosting five virtual events a month in peer-group sessions and panel discussions. We are developing content to ensure that NERFA is providing the best professional development opportunities available. As of this announcement, we have begun organizing a virtual community gathering in November that will feature opportunities for virtual showcasing, coaching, recognition for the community members who continue to do remarkable things despite the pandemic, a revival of the “Wisdom of the Elders” and “On the Griddle” format featuring not just DJ music reviews, but streaming, website, social media, and video reviews.
NERFA exists to celebrate the rich history of folk and roots music as well as to best ensure that the art form is continued forward.
Thank you for continuing forward. Thank you for allowing this organization twenty-seven years of stewardship in this mission. Thank you for being our mission.
We will see you soon.