As SASSAS enters the final weekend of our annual fund drive, I want to thank everyone who’s given so far. We have $6,800 to raise in order to reach our fund drive goal of $10,000! Please donate today.
Why does SASSAS continue to be one of the leading experimental music organizations in Los Angeles?
- SASSAS pays artists a guaranteed fee for all sound. and soundSpark concerts. Artists receive $100 – $1000 depending on the program, length of the performance and whether we are commissioning new work. In some cases SASSAS also pays travel, hotel and per diem, also setting us apart.
- SASSAS brings artists to Los Angeles who haven’t performed here in years, if ever. The 2015 work SASSAS commissioned from Yoshi Wada for the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook was his first performance in Los Angeles in 36 years! Other rare and first time performances include: Jason Lescalleet, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Fred Frith, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, David Watson, Kelan Philip Cohran, Yuko Nexus 6, Jessica Rylan, Jozef Van Wissem, Tetuzi Akiyama, Rudiger Carl, Miya Masaoka, and Glenn Branca to name a few.
- SASSAS considers site an integral component in the presentation of sound and music, working to match artists with locations and venues to create new music magic: Roscoe Mitchell at the Ford Amphitheater, Pauline Oliveros at the Schindler House, and most recently, Yoshi Wada and Tashi Wada at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. This relationship to site is key as SASSAS works in 2016 to refocus its mission, recognizing in fact what we’ve been doing in practice over the last 17 years: creating conceptual models / scores for projects and seeking artist collaborators who create effective interactions with the proposed conditions, building a relationship to site as a core position of performance. Joe Pott’s Sound Within the Context, Tonalism (with dublab), Mapping sound., Welcome Inn Time Machine, and our upcoming project, Destroy All Pianos, are exemplary of this core mission. For Destroy All Pianos, SASSAS is commissioning an international roster of eight artists to create works that demolish the piano historically, metaphorically or physically. Slated for September 2016, this free event will take place at 356 Mission, which is housed in a former piano storage facility.
This approach requires considerable research, effort and funding. Even if SASSAS meets its $10,000 year end goal, it will have only covered 2-½ months of operating expenses which include office rent, salaries for two part time staff members, bookkeeping fees, and liability and workers comp insurance. This is why we’ve set a long range and essential goal of raising an additional $15,000 for a total of $25,000 – enough to cover six months of operating expenses.
- This new goal is born from the realization that SASSAS must better plan for and support operating costs. Although our Bootleg LP auction was successful, 2015 was a tough year with respect to other sources of funding – some of the key foundations SASSAS relies on for operating support changed focus to support individual artists (not organizations) or eliminated gifts entirely. To us it represents a loss of almost $15,000 – nearly 20% of SASSAS’s budget – and it has had catastrophic effects.
- In the interest of transparency, it’s important you know that in summer 2015 SASSAS hit a financial wall. Wanting to preserve Assistant Directors’ Christina and Daniel’s positions, I laid myself off as a paid employee of SASSAS. Since then I’ve been helping out when I can, providing oversight and guidance. Should we meet our $25,000 goal, I will return, but in a very limited capacity to assist with major events such as Blast! and Destroy All Pianos.
- In addition to refocusing its mission, SASSAS is doing the hard work of rebuilding its Board of Directors, many of whom have served long beyond their 2-year terms. Some of you may receive an email from us in the upcoming weeks inviting you to assist with the leadership needed to target effective Board members. As we thank our current Board for their hard work, we look forward to forming a reinvigorated and diverse Board comprised of artists and supporters ready to guide SASSAS into the future.
With your ongoing support, SASSAS will continue to produce the compelling, memorable, AMAZING events that our audience has come to anticipate and love.