Vote Now in the Board Election

by AlanRowoth on November 23, 2019

Confused? You are not alone,,,

A number of people have complained that they are having trouble trying to vote for me in the ongoing Folk Alliance Board Election. I just did a dozen text searches of the website and there is very little information regarding the board election, no announcement of the final slate of candidates or information on voting in the 2020 board election. Nothing in the November Newsletter.

I don’t believe this is a conscious attempt at voter suppression, but rather I choose to believe it is a result of poor communications and bad website design. There is no way to log into the website and enter your vote there. (That might be a project to tackle in the future. It seems to me like a no brainer.)

But at this point, it appears that the missing election info was sent to folk Alliance members in good standing via email, along with your unique voting code. Search your mail and spam boxes for an email message with the title “Vote Now! 2020 Folk Alliance International Board Election” or “Vote Now in the Board Election” and that email should provide a unique link for you to vote in this years election. If you haven’t received that email YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO VOTE IN THIS YEAR’s ELECTION. Paper ballots could be requested before November 1, but that deadline has passed.

If you did not receive an email with the ballot you should contact Jerod Rivers at the folk Alliance office and request a copy. I’m sorry this procedure is so convoluted and information on the election so difficult to find.

I appreciate you taking the time and effort to vote. Your participation is crucial if you want FAI to truly reflect the needs and priorities of its membership. It is easier to just complain than taking the time and energy to vote. But be proactive, your vote does matter. If you abdicate that responsibility you get results like we did in the 2019 presidential election.
Quick shout out to Michael Kornfeld who is up for re-election, I hope he gets the opportunity to continue his service.

Jerod Rivers should be able to answer all of your election questions. After a bunch of searches, I also could not find on a contact phone number for Folk Alliance on the website, but I did on the folk conference website (816)221-3655 I don’t believe this number is specific to the conference..

If, armed with this information, anyone still has trouble receiving their ballot or voting, feel free to contact me and I will look into it for you. Thanks for caring and letting me know this was a problem.


Falcon Ridge Emcee Alan Rowoth was a professional musician for 30+ years. He was an agent, manager, publicist, record producer, Internet expert, lighting designer, and audio engineer.   Alan pioneered the folk Internet in 1990 and created Internet Quartets and the Folktrain. He’s written for Performing Songwriter, Dirty Linen, Sing Out! and other magazines.   27 years teaching at the Rocky Mountain Song School. Alan teaches year round on a broad range of creative, technical. and business subjects. His Big Orange Tarp has showcased hundreds of musicians. Find his teaching and showcase materials online at

Candidate Statwement
Reinstate a sense of institutional memory and give voice to the needs of our core constituency. Expand technical and year-round benefits of membership. Ensure that the conference isn’t the all-consuming focus of FAI. Find ways to broaden our visibility and reach at the regional and local levels. 

This statement was limited by the Folk Alliance to 50 words. That’s not a lot of space to condense my hopes and dreams for this organization that I have been a tireless supporter of for 3 decades

I feel like our sense of community is eroding, like Folk Alliance has forgotten the people and the priorities that got us to where we are now. I strongly believe that Folk Alliance membership should be stickier. I don’t think we do enough for the people who don’t get a formal showcase every year to renew their membership. I see needs in the community for a strong, robust folk calendar similar to the long list Musi-Cal. I know dozens of performers searching for a more friendly and powerful alternative to SonicBids. I think it should be easier to connect and network within the folk alliance regions and sub regions. I think that folk Alliance could partner with musicians And venues for more than 4 days each year.

I’ve seen the PGS showcases gutted without proper explanation. The cost per minute per seat to showcase artists in those rooms has quadrupled. The size and suitability of PGS rooms should be a considered factor in the selection of the conference venues. the Elimination of daytime hours in the PGS rooms harms both the showcasers and the bookers, many of whom would prefer a chance to hear some of these artists earlier in the day, when they are at their best.

I have other concerns, most of them revolving around who we are and where we are going. I haven’t gotten a clear picture of that from outside the board. Rather than just grouse about it, I felt it was incumbent upon me to get involved and gain a deeper understanding. This is not a career move for me. I derive no income from my work in the community. It’s a labor of love. I enjoyed a wonderful career spanning decades as a professional musician, rich with travel, and friendships, and a stunning array of unforgettable experiences. I want to be sure that everyone who wants it gets the same chance to enjoy that life, as I did.

“Alan has a knack for being ahead of the curve on all things Internet and software related especially as relates to the folk community. For years, he provided Internet access at FAI conferences. He serves on other non-profit boards in our community, serves as mentor and workshop leader on a variety of topics, including touring. He has also been a touring musician himself. He still does the festival circuit with his BIG ORANGE TARP program providing networking and performance opportunities to emerging artists and songwriters. He is part of the teaching staff at Rocky Mountain Folk Song School and part of the production team as well as an MC at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. All of the above barely touch the surface of all he has done for and in the folk community. Service has been his mantra and he has a longstanding relationship with the entire folk community and with FAI. He has much-needed institutional memory of where this organization has been and a steady finger on the pulse of the current membership’s needs for the future.

I can’t think of a better candidate at this time in our history.”

Anne Saunders
Artistic & Publicity Director
Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
32 years of Folk Music & Dance in the Berkshires

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