Friday, March 28, 2014

SPC: Mission "Not" Impossible

Welcome to the Steel Pan Collective's (SPC) weekly blog.

We started the process of creating a non-profit to support the steel pan community in the West in April 2013. The Steel Pan Collective's co-founder Elizabeth and I spent a lot of time huddled around my kitchen table last year trying to figure it out. We were determined to create an organization with some staying power. We did not want to be another "flash in the pan" (Sorry - bad pun) association. We knew to be different required a laser focus from us on what the organization is and will be about. I think we are well on our way to achieving that.

One of the first things we did was to really think hard about its mission. Yes, we found ourselves creating a mission statement. Pretty scary stuff, right? Elizabeth and I have lived through our share of company mission statements. So, we knew what we didn't want  - something wordy, nonsensical, and pretty forgettable. We wanted a statement to galvanize us, our board, staff, membership, supporters, volunteers, and pan community at large.

So here it is. The mission of The Steel Pan Collective is building a unified community of steel pan musicians, artisans, and fans in the western United States contributing to the advancement of worldwide percussion.

That is what we are about. We are counting on that mission, plus the vision we developed, the mantra we live by, and the organizational soul we created to drive us forward. (More on the vision, mantra, and organizational soul in another blog). But for now, I want you to know this is the mission. We want you to be a part of it.

Here is one final but major thought for you to take away. The SPC is driven by three guiding principles. Learning, Connecting, and Performing. All three are related and feed into each other. It can be frustrating when individuals and bands get stuck in one area and not progress. We wanted the SPC to help alleviate some of that frustration by offering a "support" organization willing to help its members get the best experience possible when it comes to steel pan playing in the U.S. Sharing of knowledge is the key. No one should be stuck in classes just learning with no hope of ever performing. The same is true for those who know some people in the pan community but don't have an opportunity to learn or play. And for those performers who can't take a breather to connect with other musicians and learn some new stuff, the SPC can be there to help. We want to be there for our members as an advocate, resource, and as a community. We hope you will consider joining us in the future.

So stay tuned for more SPC news.

Next week: The SPC's Vision.

Skip Waugh
The Steel Pan Collective