July 2006 Letter from the Director

Dear Friends of Centrum,   

As I write, Centrum is in the second day of the new Slide and Steel Guitar workshop, featuring masters of country, sacred steel, bluegrass, and blues traditions in residence for a week with sixty musicians from around the country. Yesterday we ended the largest Fiddle Tunes gathering in Centrum history under the new and soulful leadership of artistic director Dirk Powell.

During the prior week the Chamber Music workshop enrollment was up 54% from 2005. In addition to the regular weekend concerts there were five free evening events—master classes, multimedia presentations, and performances—to introduce a larger public to some of what students come back for year after year. The week before Chamber Music the Centrum School of Rock doubled its enrollment, with a rigorous introduction into the history and fundamentals of the genre under the artistic direction of blues and rock keyboard legend Daryl Davis.

Summer is in full swing at Fort Worden.

The longer I am in this job and the more people I meet who are connected to what happens at Centum, the more strongly I feel the obligation to deliver on our programmatic goals. Just saying thank you is not enough for all of you who give so much of your time, energy, and money to keep Centrum vital. The most profound way to express gratitude is to ensure that we develop and promote artistic programs that are
1.    one of the top three of their kind in the country
2.    the best of their kind in the northwest;
3.    distinct in their identity and mission;
4.    attractive to an expanding and culturally diverse participant and audience base; and
5.    economically robust.

Your continued and growing generosity is our best barometer of how well we are achieving these goals. We are stewards of your generosity and that is no small responsibility. You give us the resources, courage, and mandate to take risks and make hard choices.

Enclosed is a listing of all of you who supported Centrum in 2005. In one year the list has expanded from four to six pages. So many of you have stepped up to help with and be part of what is happening here. It is inspiring to be in service to a community providing such resource and passion to “promote creative experiences that change lives.”

In great appreciation,
Thatcher Bailey