I am beyond excited to announce that The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library has received a very generous and very helpful grant from the Passim Iguana Music Fund. The grant allows us the financial freedom to complete our debut album without artistic compromise. We are delighted to have this opportunity and it is a really great honor to receive this recognition and support for this project. Passim, and specifically Club Passim, are also extremely special to me, as that is where MJEML drummer (and MJE wife) Sophia Cacciola and I met.
We are very proud to join the ranks of previous winners (2009): Dinty Child, Mike Rivard, Sam Kassirer, Alastair Moock, Margaret Glaspy, Ruth Mendelson, Alec Spiegelman, Jamie Manning, Jacqueline Francis, David Wax, Matthew Belyea, and Kaitlin Berreckman and this year’s winners:
Rose Polenzani, Margaret Glaspy, Nikola Radan, Dave Godowsky, Amanda Kowalski, Dami Noah, Maria Sangiolo, Kristin Andreassen, Kimber Ludiker, Austin Nevins, Zachariah Hickman, Naseem Khuri (yay Kingsley Flood), Randall Williams, Hanneke Cassel, Mark Erelli, and Andy Cambria.
More on the fund in their own words:
Iguana Music Fund Mission
The Iguana Music Fund, a program of the nonprofit performance arts organization Passim, fosters a vibrant and exciting music community in New England through seed grants to aspiring local artists for significant career-building or who are providing community service through music.
The Iguana Music Fund will award small grants of between $500 and $2,000 to individual artists with an affiliation to New England either by residence or tour history for specific career building projects.
Areas of support may include (but are not limited to): recording or manufacturing assistance, publicity & marketing support, instrument repair or replacement, additional equipment & instruments, special projects and other specific activities promoting artistic and/or professional growth.
This award comes at an absolutely perfect time in our band’s existence. We were scrambling for ideas about how to fund the final stages of our debut full-length (CD Release Show 2/26). I am really against Kickstarter-style campaigns for what are effectively pre-sales (see my essay on this topic). As such, we did initiate pre-sales of the CD bundled with tickets to our release show, plus a special, limited-edition treat (coverage on Exploit! Boston). That process is helping us frontload our money stream, but, even if we sell enough CDs/tickets to cover our costs, there is always the question of what next. How could we keep this project afloat and accomplish our artistic goals? This Iguana award will allow us not only to complete this project, but to be well poised for continuing the artistic endeavors that we had planned for next, but expected to have to put off until we had raised enough capital from CD sales. This year will be a very exciting year for the Memorial Library, in great part due to the assistance provided by this grant.