Hubbard Park, Montpelier Vermont

It began with a walk

Gregg News

Every morning since Aug. 2020, Patti Casey and I go for an early morning walk in Hubbard Park here in Montpelier, Vermont. On one of our walks in Oct. Patti asked me about the possibility of doing a virtual benefit concert for The Old Meeting House in East Montpelier. We talked about the technical stuff, promotion, payments and revenue distribution (registration, donations, and tips). From there I built the website as a pilot to test the idea. We launched the show the weekend before Thanksgiving and were hoping to cover at least the costs of the musicians plus audio and video services. We were quite pleasantly surprised when the event raised nearly triple our wildest hopes.

Since then, I’ve run two additional pilot events to test out an idea. That performers and communities are interlinked in a symbiotic way that mutually benefits each. Community organizations often rely on the generosity of musicians and other performers to help them raise money. And in turn, the organizations, give back to their community through their services.

And then COVID hit.

The birth of CommArts came from a specific need to address the “how do we do a virtual benefit concert” to how many community organizations can we help using this model? The answer is quite a few. Learn more about CommArts.

As I write this, CommArts is working with an Irish festival that’s just like so many others – trying to figure out how to keep some revenue coming in while COVID keeps people out of the seats. And like so many others, they rely on a smattering of technologies cobbled together to present recorded shows and workshops but without a way to ensure revenue. It’s hard to rely on donations especially when the donations form is on a totally different website than where the show is located.

The need is there. If you know of an organization that needs a reliable and solid platform to help them raise funds through performance artists, have them contact me!