Being in college, it's remarkably easy to seal yourself from the outside world. That's why it came as such a surprise to me when I finally was able to uncover my head from a load of books and saw that IAJE, the International Association for Jazz Education, declared bankruptcy!
Now, I don't know how old this news is, but it looks like MENC is stepping up to the plate to help fill the gap; good news?
Near as I can tell, yes and no. Naturally, it's good to have another national organization help promote jazz, but jazz is not the main focus of MENC and I have my doubts as to whether or not it can do IAJE's work nearly as well. On that note, though, the deficit was supposed to be more than $1 million. Simply blaming this on lower attendance at the last conference seems a little strange; if there were an extra 5,000 people, each paying $100 to attend, that only covers half of it. I'm just making up these numbers, though; can anyone else provide more realistic figures?
So, more importantly, what is to be done now? Should MENC risk over-reaching its boundaries like IAJE is said to have done? Personally, I hope to see some grassroots movement from the music-ed blogosphere - people writing articles, networking, and in the long term, trying to bring things back together, whether its scope is national or local.
Finally, after some quick digging, www.archive.org has at least some of the old IAJE journal articles stored in cache. Can a mirror be made of the old site? Copyright lawyer, anyone?