Since its founding in 1984, the Minnesota Guitar Society (MGS) has served its mission by presenting emerging artists as well as regionally and internationally known performers in concert and in the community. Largely volunteer-run, the MGS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with elected board members and officers. Our half-time, paid Managing Director is responsible for planning and implementing programs, promoting concerts and events, coordinating volunteers, fundraising, maintaining our website, and producing our newsletter. We currently have 174 members, one of the larger dues-paying memberships among the over 75 guitar societies in the US. Our members come from a range of socioeconomic groups, reflecting the cross-cultural appeal of the guitar and guitar-related music. Our annual concert series at Sundin Music Hall has been the cornerstone project of our organization since 1996.
In January 2019 we launched Guitar In Our Schools with a grant from the Augustine Foundation and the additional support of our members and friends. In this program, we are partnering with music teachers, band and choir directors, and guitar teachers in schools throughout the Greater Twin Cities to provide the following:
- Informal performances and/or masterclasses by classical guitarists from our Sundin Music Hall concert series at the partnering schools.
- Support for guitar classes during the school day where they already exist, and the creation of such classes in existing music programs. through curriculum support, teaching assistants, and guitars when needed.
- Performance opportunities for student soloists and ensembles outside the school.
- Discounted ($5) tickets to students from partnering schools, and their families, to attend our Sundin Music Hall concerts.
We have four current goals.
- Sustain our core program, the annual concert series featuring artists from around the world by diversifying our funding sources and audience and doing more and better outreach to all the communities in the Twin Cities.
- Build our new program, Guitar In Our Schools (GIOS). Expand the list of partnering schools, Recruit staff (teaching assistants, and a program coordinator).
- Establish a best-practices system of financial management. The GIOS program has doubled our annual budget. We don’t have anyone on our board with professional training or experience in bookkeeping or accounting.
- Explore the creation of new performance programs to engage younger audiences.
Annual budget: $98,000 – Earned Income, Individual Contributions, Government Grants or Contracts
Minnesota Guitar Society is seeking board members with skills in the following areas:
- Financial Management
- Marketing and Communications
- Strategic and Business Planning
Past board members have always come from the (classical) guitar community, either professionals or passionate amateurs. Future board members should have a passion for the performing arts, especially music, ideally the guitar (in any style), and an equally passionate commitment to arts education as a social need and a potentially transformative individual experience. We want our board, and our organization, to better reflect the changing demographics of the Twin Cities, to help ensure that our organization will be alive and relevant 35 years from now.
The expected financial contribution is not a fixed level. All board members are expected to be members of the Society (i.e., donate). Current board members contribute anywhere from the basic $25 level up to several thousand dollars per year.
We absolutely need skilled professional expertise, especially financial and strategic planning. We also need to address issues of equity and inclusion on an organizational level. Our current concert series artist line-up (of 8 performers, 3 are female, 3 are persons of color, 7 different countries are represented) is far more inclusive in every sense than is our membership. And our membership is more diverse than our current board. That said, we believe the most pressing needs are to address the gender imbalance of the current board (2 female, 8 male) and the age-range imbalance (4 members in their 60s, only 2 under 40). Our new school project is intended, in part, to address other aspects of the issues of inclusion and relevance.
- Number of members currently: 10
- Meeting time and frequency: 4 meetings annually
- Meeting location: Saint Paul
- Time Expectation: Up to 5 hours/month
- Financial Contribution Required: Yes, at a level meaningful to the board member.
- Service on Committee Required: Yes
- Length of Term: 2 Years
- Renewable: Yes
- Does nonprofit carry liability insurance? No