I’ve just returned from an exciting trip to New York, where I spoke at Last week’s Sidney Krum Conference, on the state of cultural and the arts in American Jewish life. While there I attended many of the dozens of exciting performances part of the 3rd annual Oyhoo! New York Jewish Heritage and Music Festival.
I sat in on the NFJC conference unveiling the findings of its study on Jewish Arts Events and Young Adults, which indirectly places KFAR at the vanguard of the field. At the same meeting, New York UJA-Federation announced a $1 million grant toward an exciting incubator for NYC Jewish artists. These are vibrant times for Jewish arts and culture, especially if you live in New York City.
But we live in Chicago, where for four years KFAR Jewish Arts Center has worked to foster a similar cultural renaissance by stimulating, promoting and producing the next generation of Jewish creative expression.
- Tzitzit: Voices from the Jewish Fringe a concert series of contemporary Jewish music in Chicago’s best live venues
- Artistic Associates engages Jewish artists through their craft and stimulates community, collaboration and new works
- Synagogue Hosting Initiative for Renewal In Music (SHIRIM) assist congregations presenting concerts
- Semitic Cinematic a new screening series of Jewish feature, documentary and short films.
- Jewish Arts Regional Touring Service (J-ARTS) creates regional touring routes to assist both artists and institutions
- Public Celebrations include holiday specific Hard Rockin’ Hamentashen, Knishmas and Yom Haatzma’Art exhibition
As a leader in our community, we want you to be a part of this. In fact, we rely on you to make it happen. None of these concerts and arts events happen by themselves. Securing artists, venues and promotion is an expensive undertaking, and unlike the exciting events I witnessed in New York City, KFAR receives no central allocation or funding from ANY organization. We have survived on ticket revenue to date, but it hardly covers all our expenses. Advertising, talent travel , sound equipment, phones and other services cost money, even without buildings to operate or salaried employees to pay.
The KFAR model is the wave of the future, and the Jewish expressive force of the iPod generation. Clearly, there is a strong demand for KFAR in our community, and community members like you find our work to be as valuable as we do. But unfortunately, that alone is not enough. By donating to KFAR, you are ensuring that the Jews of Chicagoland will have a creative voice that will be heard unlike ever before. Take pride in our unique heritage and give our community an eye for what is to come. Express yourself.
On behalf of everyone here at KFAR, thank you, and have a happy and healthy new year.
Adam Davis, Director
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