The Sebastopol Community Cultural Center bids a fond farewell to the Celtic World Music Festival
Sebastopol Community Cultural Center Announces End to Celtic Festival
Sebastopol, November 1, 2010--At a recent meeting, the board of directors of the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center voted to no longer host the Sebastopol Celtic World Music Festival. The board decided that the festival is simply not sustainable, and the difficulties inherent in subsidizing it outweigh the benefits in the current economic climate. Therefore, the center will not host the Festival in 2011 or beyond.
For the past 16 years, local promoter Cloud Moss, of Cumulus Presents, has brought world-class Celtic artists from around the globe to the 3-day festival of concert performances and workshops. Visitors to the festival come from all over the country to attend, and many have built their vacation schedules around the festival. Local sponsors and volunteers have loyally supported the festival over the years, the board acknowledged.
“We've attempted cost-cutting measures, but have discovered that the basic expenses continue to be very high,” said Diana Rich, executive director of the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center. “Unfortunately, continuing high expenses have combined with decreasing attendance, including among local Sonoma County residents. Because the Community Center’s mission is, first and foremost, to serve the people of Sonoma County, we can only conclude that the Celtic Festival is no longer meeting our mission, and is becoming increasingly difficult to subsidize.”
While the board has requested that Moss explore other possibilities for an event that will bring quality Celtic music to the Community Center in a format other than a multi-day festival, it will likely take some time before any definite plans are made and approved. The community center will continue to include Celtic music in its evening concert scheduling. Celtic favorites Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas are already on the center’s calendar for 2011.
Members of the board expressed great sadness for the end of an era with the closing of the Sebastopol Celtic Festival, but they also expressed excitement and support for the varied upcoming musical calendar Moss has planned for the center, including concerts by Red Horse (Eliza Gilkyson, John Gorka, and Lucy Kaplansky), Girly Man, Greg Brown, and Arlo Guthrie, in addition to the Fraser and Haas concert. The board also affirmed its commitment to continue to support enrichment activities such as the Jugalbandi Music and Arts in the Schools Program, along with a wide variety of community classes for area children and adults.
“We want to take this opportunity to thank all of our past sponsors and supporters,” said Rich. “We urge everyone who has supported the Celtic Festival to recognize that the core qualities of that event also are reflected in the fabulous music and entertainment we offer year-round, and we look forward to providing the community with many more seasons filled with the events that engage and enrich us all.”