This letter from our Vice President Lydia Harris summarizes the impact of our 2010 Programs and Events
Broward County Commissioners
Via Email to:
As Vice President of the
Advisory Board for Women in Jazz South Florida (WIJSF), I am eager to
seize this opportunity to acknowledge the support and extend
appreciation to the
As a result of that support, we have been able to provide music history and performance based educational programming to a multigenerational and multicultural audience.
From our presentations
to elementary and middle schools, we identified untapped talent that we
showcased in local community performances.
Many of the music students of
coordinated with library directors and school principals at Parkway and
Your insight into the
needs of the community to seek alternative methods to promote the arts
resulted in an extraordinary find that has drastically changed the lives
of two middle school students. From
opportunities made available for our member musicians to share their
talents as contributors to the Community Musicwomen program, continues
to tell the stories of the first ladies of jazz and blues. Our performances were highlighted by sing-a-longs not only in the
schools, but also with our valued senior community.
Testimonials continue to be heard praising the journey down their
personal musical “
Your decision to support WIJSF also provided education to musicians and other artists through our “Business of Music” panel in conjunction with ArtServe. Our humanity thrives on the artistic vision of those who dedicate their lives to various art forms. Without the pictures, sounds, shapes and crafts of these artisans what would be the need for TV, radio, museums and curio cabinets? Yet, sadly, the term “starving artist” is frequently an accurate description for those who offer pleasure for our senses as they share their talents based on giving, rather than economics. And, ironically, artists are undervalued, until a niche is made for them in our global marketplace. Part of the funding that you have delivered to our artists provided them with marketing, promotion and financial management information to combat the “starving artist” syndrome. This program was attended by The Sons of Mystro as part of their preparation for success as entertainers.
All of the musicians that participated in this funded program were paid for their performances, including a stipend to Parkway Middle School Jazz Band and Vocal Ensemble. The Sons of Mystro are continuing on their income generation and personal economic development with additional local performances, since being featured in this amazing, multifaceted, cultural program.
We have chronicled this journey on video and in pictures on our website www.wijsf.org and at www.youtube.com/divajc. Please visit the sites and listen to the music, see the smiling senior faces, read from the curriculum taught to the children and note the graphical marketing expertise used to promote each event for the enjoyment of our community. This is the visual where we can see our tax dollars at work.
WIJSF is building bridges to maintain the connection between the arts and the people of Broward County. Our partnerships with the City of Lauderhill and the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce connected the arts to business in the recent Lauderhill Jazz Jam, as part of the Business Expo, luncheon with Les Brown and golf tournament with nationally renowned professional athletes. This connection has resulted in our participation with an international business incubator in the City of Lauderhill and is placing WIJSF in alignment with plans being made for the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center and other cultural centers in the region.
Again, I thank you for the opportunity you have given WIJSF to serve our community, through the schools, business partnerships, educational services, involvement of senior citizens in the arts, and the creation of economic opportunity for a multitude of musicians. We look forward to the next privilege we are given to serve the citizens of Broward County, through future Broward Cultural Council funding initiatives.
Board of Directors Vice President, WIJSF, Inc.
Cc: Bertha Henry, Broward County Administrator
Estelle Loewenstein, Chair, Broward Cultural Council
Joan Cartwright, Executive Director, WIJSF, Inc.
June 2, 2010
from the President:
Notion of Appreciation
Learning to be appreciative of the
many blessings and opportunities that come our way is often placed at
the bottom of that important list of things we need to do. We take our
loved ones, colleagues, work, material possessions, opportunities,
conveniences, even ourselves for granted, by allowing cattiness,
ill-will, personal frustrations, and self-hatred to foster unkindness
toward each other. We exhibit behavior that no real lady would carry in
When I look at Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc., the vision of Joan Cartwright and
her efforts to blaze new pathways for female artists, around the globe,
I am in awe. I observe her working tirelessly, using her knowledge,
skills and extensive experience as a musician together with her passion
for uplifting women artists. As the new President of this worthwhile
organization, I would like my first message to the members to foster
appreciation and respect for this transformational woman of song. When
someone in any area of our lives, affords us opportunities, strives to
support our efforts, we are riding on their wings and we must recognize
and appreciate that gift.
My spirit was filled with
complaints and pessimism, until 1989, when the hurricanes Hugo, Marilyn
and Jeanne opened my eyes. During Hugo, a nagging, invisible voice urged
me to move from the bed where I lay waiting for the wind to stop
howling. I heeded the voice and moved. Within seconds, a huge tree
crashed through the roof and landed exactly in the spot where I had been
lying. It was eerie and I was thankful. In1995, Marilyn slammed
When we stepped out of the closet,
my husband and I were just grateful to be alive. Though I lost my
favorite things, I was appreciative of things I took for granted. For
six months, we had no electricity or telephone. But the generator
provided a hot shower and ice for a cool drink.
Hurricane Jeanne, in 2004, was the
fourth storm that I weathered. I noticed that people were kinder, more
considerate and appreciative, after the storm. But the “hurricane
afterglow” is short lived. Once people get their conveniences back,
and get back to their routine, compassion, concern and kindness for
others at work, in social circles and at home tend to dwindle.
In our world much is available but
more is desired. The question is, “Will you appreciate more, if you
don’t appreciate what you have?”
Things change in the blink of an
eye. Loved ones pass on, jobs are lost. Opportunities are overlooked
because we are mentally and spiritually blind. We don’t appreciative
the small blessings in our lives. Don’t wait until it’s too late to
show your appreciation or express your gratitude to someone. It should
not take the threat of harm or severe weather to make you take notice,
to become more human. I embrace the notion of appreciation on a daily
basis and realize that my life is joyful because of my attitude shift.
The blessings in my personal life and work grow, daily.
You begin by appreciating the beauty of a sunny day, a relaxing
walk on the beach, time spent with family and friends, your own talents
and gifts. Start practicing and preaching the notion of appreciation by
saying “Thank you,” more and more.
On behalf of all of the members,
supporters and stakeholders of Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc., I say
“We appreciate and thank you, Joan Cartwright! Thanks for being that
lighthouse, a beacon of opportunity for women in jazz.”
For the Love of Music, Divine
Blessings to You All,
Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe, President, WIJSF,