In an attempt to begin bringing us together during these difficult days, some of our long-time members have shared their experiences dealing with Covid, Lockdown, Boredom, Creativity, Bubbles, etc. We intend to post a column a week at 10 AM Pacific on Mondays, so be on the lookout! For guidelines and submission details, please contact Julie Zipperer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Marlynn Block at email@example.com. Submissions will be posted based on approval from the Lockdown Lemonade Committee.
As a member of the committee that oversees the choices and editing of this Lockdown Lemonade blog, I knew that sooner or later I would have to write one myself. So I have been thinking about it for a long time. My first instinct was to write something humorous – there are so many funny aspects to the dilemmas we face these days. But the whole pajama thing has been sussed out completely, and does the world REALLY need a column titled “I Zoom, therefore I am!”? I think not, but I ALMOST wrote it.
Thinking about all this made me realize that I have found a huge coping mechanism that is really working to keep me busy, productive, and even happy during these strange times. What I have done personally is to throw myself into the business of FAR-West. The lockdown and subsequent cancellation of live conferences has spurred FAR-West into becoming the year-round organization that many of us have envisioned for quite some time. I have been working very closely with Julie Zipperer on a variety of projects. We have in turn partnered with Joel Tepp and Marlynn Block and many others to turn our ideas into actual working programs.
Our successes have been moderate, but we feel like we are just starting to gain some momentum and have been able to present some really USEFUL and ENTERTAINING programs. We helped put together the musical portion of our first-ever virtual Conference which we titled “We Belong”.
Julie had the fantastic idea for Lockdown Lemonade and we have reached out to our membership to send us their stories. People seem to be really enjoying it. We have presented educational programs to deal with both the new issues that lockdown presents and also the continuing issues that haven’t gone away during this crisis.
We have partnered with FAR-West’s good friend Dan Navarro to present a series of livestreaming technical workshops. A follow-up livestream performance workshop will be presented by Vicki Green on March 25. On March 3, we also kicked off a series titled “Best of the West and Beyond”. The first episode featured an amazing interview with FAR-West Best of the West honoree and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Chris Hillman discussing his recent autobiography. We hope to feature more of our “tribal elders” and their wisdom in future episodes.
We have begun a series of open mics that we call “Campfires”, hosted by John and Julie Zipperer. These virtual song circles have attracted large crowds of performers and listeners. We have plans to highlight the sub-regions in our own HUGE region in a series called “Communities” that will take us to areas we don’t often get to visit. There is a lot more in the pipeline. We are keeping BUSY!
If this sounds like a full-time job, it has been pretty close to that for us. But no one has MADE us do all this. I can’t speak for my teammates, but all this work has kept me sane, kept my mind off of what my life is missing and has made me feel like I am actually doing some good for the world and most particularly for our wonderful musical community. If this is not Lockdown Lemonade, I don’t know what is!
~ Peter Krantz
Peter is a FAR-West Board member. Once upon a time, he had another life…