Make Music Upper Perk (MMUP) is part of an international music festival called Make Music Day, started in 1982 in Paris, and celebrated in over 700 cities around the world. It is held every year on June 21st, is always free to the public, and is open to musicians of all ages; amateur or professional; 1st year music students and those who've been playing for decades; any and all types of music. Make Music Upper Perk was first started by a small group of friends in 2013. Last year, 50 volunteers were involved in putting together this event, still organized entirely by volunteers and supported financially by donations from community members and music lovers. MMUP has grown from 100 musicians performing at seven public spaces in 2013 to nearly 200 musicians, ranging in age from 6 to 80, performing in seventeen public spaces (inside and outside) in 2017.
In 2016, we added a "lunchtime music" series at local restaurants, welcomed the Upper Perk YMCA as a new performing space, and held two campfire sing-alongs where everyone was welcome to join in the singing to close out the night. In 2017, we celebrated our fifth year with a cake decorating contest (and then shared the cakes with the audience once, judging was done), a cell phone music video showcase, and by yarnbombing outside the MMUP venues (volunteer knitters contributed the yarn and the knitted tree scarves, bench and bike knit decorations, crocheted nests and birds, and more).
Last year's musicians included a drum circle, a dozen dulcimer players, heavy metal bands, an acoustic blues group, original singer-songwriters, classic folk music, celtic music, piano stylings,classical strings players, and some singing puppets. There were also workshops on how to build a ukulele, a hymn sing, a ukulele teach-in (ukuleles and music supplied for anyone who dropped by), and a chance to roast marshmallows at the campfire sing-along (fire and marshmallows provided by the venue). No one was paid and everyone on stage and in the audience had an amazing time.
Money raised allows us to print flyers and save the date cards, and print programs and maps to be distributed at the the local library, senior center, and other places around town, as well as printing the program in the local newspaper. Last year we bought more yard signs to expand the area covered and grow our audience. This year we are hoping to acquire some small MMUP banners for our performance stages, and to pay for filing costs to apply for official non-profit status.
Risks and challenges
Lack of funding for publicity and to support growing this event, and the need for more volunteers to keep everything going smoothly and increase outreach to musicians and potential audience, are our biggest challenges
Thanks to wonderful volunteers, musicians, and community support, Make Music Upper Perk 2018 will happen, though certain aspects may need to be scaled back, depending on the financial and level of community support. More money means more publicity so more people will know when, where, and who is performing as part of MMUP before June 21st. More money means we can continue to grow and continue to be as environmentally conscious and socially aware as we can, while doing so. More money means we can find more ways to celebrate music and musicians in the Upper Perkiomen Valley, and to share that celebration with people of all ages and musical tastes.
Whatever happens with this Kickstarter campaign, be sure and mark your calendars and come out on June 21st to enjoy the music!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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