We – the Harp Guitar Foundation Board and Advisors – have been brainstorming this for a couple years, and mentioned it at HGG17. It is now official. Here’s what Stephen Bennett said at the Gathering last October:
“While the Gathering has been part of the Harp Guitar Foundation for about a decade now, the Foundation was initially conceived for the purpose of supporting the incredible work Gregg does to learn more about the harp guitar – and then to share that with the world. The original idea didn’t have anything to do with the Gathering. At the time though, we all knew that the Gathering had grown to the point that it needed some sort of legal status. As I was not personally prepared at the time to undertake the process of creating an official non-profit myself, after some discussion, the HGF Board agreed that this event could exist within the framework of the Foundation. That worked pretty well and as a result, the Gathering has continued to the point that, well – we’re all here today at HGG17.
“Creating a separate entity now however will ease the workload on Gregg and Jaci, allowing the Foundation’s specific focus to be more as was originally intended: supporting Gregg’s work of learning more about these instruments that we all love and then sharing that new knowledge. Joe Morgan, Randall Sprinkle and I are the officers of the new Harp Guitar Gathering non-profit that is coming into being. I have no intention of being the Gathering’s President forever, so my plan is to turn over the proverbial reins to some younger hands before too many more years so that this very cool event can continue on into the future. — Stephen Bennett”
Over these last ten years, our Foundation has been distributing funds for the Gathering budget. Now, there are two different nonprofits that will need your support to continue and succeed. You all know what the Gathering is (if not how expensive it can be to hold every year), and you all know what I’ve done on this site (and have yet to do!). There’s something for everyone – special Foundation-supported projects (like last year’s Hiro Takai memorial CD), hundreds of articles on harpguitars.net and yearly Gathering activities. I hope all of you will continue to donate to both entities, as your interest dictates.
For almost two decades now, the Gathering and Harpguitars.net have been – and will hopefully continue to be – the key drivers that took an obscure instrument that a handful of us had an interest in and helped turn it into a global phenomenon. For both Stephen and myself, the phrase “Be careful what you wish for” has never held more meaning!
We know that the Harp Guitar Gathering® will continue to thrive under the new nonprofit and we send congratulations to Stephen, Joe, Randall, the advisors and assistants, with our best wishes.
— Gregg (Sir Gregory) Miner
Exciting times ahead. Congratulations, respect, love and gratitude to all involved over the years to bring this about. You guys have had an impact on my life, and I’ve never even been to a Gathering (yet).
Thanks for all of the hard work and effort that you have all put into making things happen.