ashland.news
July 14, 2024

Big month, big goals for Ashland Folk Collective

Jacqui Aubert, left, and Hanna Winters of the Ashland Folk Collective stand before a throng at the Summer Sounds concert at the bandshell in Lithia Park on June 17. The show, headlined by Sean Hayes, was the biggest in the collective's seven-year history. AFC photo
June 27, 2024

After drawing its largest-ever audience with a concert at Lithia Park, the nonprofit promoter is fundraising for more music

By Jim Coleman for Ashland.news

The Ashland Folk Collective is closing out June with a concert this weekend while reaching toward a fundraising campaign goal of $50,000 for future shows.

It’s been a landmark month for the Folk Collective. A free June 17 concert headlined by Sean Hayes at the bandshell in Lithia Park was the biggest show ever put on by the organization. A Beatles tribute fundraiser concert on June 21 raised $25,000.

Oliver Wood Trio next

Meanwhile, the AFC’s next show, featuring the Oliver Wood Trio, is set for this Saturday, June 29, at Roxy Ann Winery. Wood is a member of the roots band the Wood Brothers.

The Beatles show, featuring local musicians playing Fab Four songs, got the AFC halfway toward its fundraising goal, said Jacqui Aubert, the Ashland Folk Collective’s executive director and founder.

“Because of the generosity of two donors we started the event with pledges of up to $10,000 to match was donated at the show,” Aubert said. “Our audience totally showed up and we matched the 10K by intermission, so we challenged the audience to help us get to $15,000, which, with the assistance of bar sales, we were able to reach. Big thanks to Walkabout Brewery for donating the beer!”

As of Thursday, boosted by the Beatles show, the Folk Collective has raised more than $33,000 in its campaign. Those fundraising efforts help the nonprofit group bring nationally known acts to the Rogue Valley, Aubert said.

“Ninety percent of our annual budget is spent on our programming costs,” she said. “So when we fundraise we are able to put all donations 100% into our programming costs, including hiring musicians, lighting techs, sound technicians, venue rental and production.”

How much music could the collective present with $50,000?

“It varies because of show costs at different venues,” Aubert said, “but with $50,000 we could put on two shows at Cedarwood Barn in Talent, five shows at Fry Family Farm and one show at SOU Recital Hall.”

Coming up is a concert featuring Steve Poltz at Fry Family Farm on Wednesday, July 10. Tickets are available at the AFC website. Then the Folk Collective’s second free Summer Sounds show at Lithia Park, featuring Blitzen Trapper, arrives July 29. The Lithia Park show is being presented with the sponsorship of Epic Ashland.

Summer Sounds ‘100% success’

Asked how the first Summer Sounds show at Lithia Park went, Aubert said, “It was a 100% success. I cried several times! I saw our community come together in joy and relaxation. Kids were playing all over, people were connecting…. It is the heart of why we work so hard.”

To donate to the Ashland Folk Collective, go to ashlandfolkcollective.com. Foundation-level donors who want to donate by check can contact Jacqui Aubert at ashlandfolkcollective.com@gmail.com.

Fundraiser incentive

The Ashland Folk Collective is offering a party giveaway to entice donors. A donation of $50 or more by 6 p.m. Saturday, June 29, gives the donor a chance to win a “Mega Giveaway” that includes 10 tickets to any AFC show in 2024, six bottles of wine and two AFC T-shirts.

Ashland resident Jim Coleman is a retired journalist with decades of experience at the Los Angeles Times. He is a volunteer copy editor for Ashland.news.

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Jim

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