Beaver Island Cultural Arts Association (BICAA)

History

The Baroque on Beaver Music Festival began, as do so many great traditions, with an idea. The idea took shape in the spring of 2001, when summer residents Jane Maehr, Jean Howell and friends proposed and planned a classical concert to take place on Beaver Island. It was because of these two remarkable summer residents, both enchanted by “America’s Emerald Isle” and passionate about music, that a new Island tradition was established.

The inaugural Baroque program took place on Sunday, July 28, 2001, in the log cabin chapel of the St. James Episcopal Mission. The orchestra was composed of fourteen musicians and a choir of sixteen.
Each group was made up of a mix of seasonal and year-round Island residents. The all Bach concert was a success and a dream come true.

Over the next several summers the number of concerts were expanded. These programs came to be known collectively as the Baroque Festival. The founders intent was to present to the people of Beaver Island both choral and orchestral music in the highest form and in a casual setting. As a gift to their community, the organizers worked hard to keep expenses down and admittance free.

The early repertoire included choral and ensemble music. As the program's popularity grew and venues reached capacity, it was not uncommon to see attendees set up beach chairs outside of venues and watch and listen through the open door and windows. The demands of an expanding repertoire would require more accomplished artists. A number of musicians from around the region were solicited. To address travel costs, organizers began to importune Island businesses to support the Festival. Their participation has become essential to the success of the Festival, as has the Island tradition of asking audiences for free will donations.

For the first few years Festival oversight was maintained by an “advisory team” that included many of Baroque’s early champions and participants. Because one concert had now expanded into a series of musical performances, a new infrastructure was needed to address the growing complexity associated with organizing and sustaining a summer music festival. In 2008 the Beaver Island Cultural Arts Association (BICAA) was formed. The new structure provided for a nine member Board.

Shortly after the Association was constituted, the Board applied to the IRS for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. IRS recognition allowed the Association to accept contributions and donations that are tax-deductible to the donor; exempted the organization from taxes; and enabled the Association to apply for grants and other public or private awards available only to 501(c)(3) organizations.

The new Board made decision concerning key festival positions too. In 2008 the Board approved the selection of Dr. Kevin Simon, a professor at Saginaw Valley State University, as the Baroque Choral Director. Two years later, in 2010, the Board affirmed the selection of Robert Nordling as Principal Conductor of the Festival Orchestra. As a result of the Nordling and Simon appointments, the Baroque Music Festival developed a reputation for excellent programing for enthusiastic audiences.

Over the past 16 seasons, the Island’s Cultural Arts Association has brought many artists to participate in the Festival. Memorable programs include the appearances of the talented American classical pianist Garrick Ohlsson, the award winning Canadian classical opera and song singer Martha Guth, and the versatile international opera singer and Puerto Rican bass, Ricardo Lugo. But there were many other artists and events that drew huge and appreciative crowds, including performances by pianist May Phang, the brass group known as Metallurgy, and the 2015 “tent-sational” program that marked the 200th Anniversary of our nation's national anthem.

From the early days of Maestro Nordling’s appointment as Music Director, contemporary music was included in the Festival repertoire. For more than a decade attendees have been exposed to modern works by such composers as Aaron Copland and John Williams. In addition, the Board has supported the commissioning of new works and sponsored composers’ visits to the Festival to conduct their own premieres.

Two other elements helped shape and give direction to the Association and the Festival. The first was entwined with the change in the Island economy. Maehr and Howell’s dream of a classical musical program came to pass at a time when the Island experienced unprecedented growth in tourism, as well as vacation and retirement home construction. Baroque benefited from the Island’s transition as a rural and remote community to a vacation destination. In turn the festival provided an experience that encouraged civic engagement, community pride and furthered the development of the tourism economy, as well as the quality of Island life. The second milestone concerned the election of Anne Glendon as BICAA chair. Glendon successfully led the Cultural Arts Association into its second decade. It was on her watch that the Association became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It was during her tenure that Robert Nordling signed on as Music Director and it was because of her encouragement that a summer jazz series was initiated. Glendon had several other noteworthy accomplishments, chief among which was her successful effort to raise funds to purchase a concert grand piano.

The BICAA mission is to serve the Island community by promoting and supporting the cultural arts, including the Baroque on Beaver Festival. Since its’ inception, BICAA has worked closely with educators in the Beaver Island Community School and with other civic entities by offering mini-grant support for a variety of cultural arts endeavors, such as vocal and instrumental instruction, as well as instruction in the visual arts. During the past decade the BICAA has awarded Islanders more than $8000 in mini-grants. Additionally, BICAA has a history of collaborating with the BIC Center to co-sponsor music programs, such as the summer jazz series. And BICAA has made an effort to engage a broad range of community interests too. In recent years the BICAA has participated in the Island’s annual 4th of July Parade, a civic cultural event that attracts Island youth and families and initiated an annual Roll for the Arts (Bocce) Tournament, which has tapped interest and support for the cultural arts from a new sector of the community.

In addition to having a mission, BICAA invests in the Island’s economic well being. The Association is a member of the BI Chamber of Commerce and the Charlevoix Area Chamber of Commerce. It is a key partner in the marketing and promoting the Emerald Isle. The Association employs, produces and consumes. And over the last decade the Association has secured more than $100,000 in state and regional grants and a good portion of these funds have found their way into the local economy through event related spending.

A small cultural arts organization like the BICAA has distinct strengths: A high level of community trust and engagement, a well built indigenous leadership structure, and passionate and committed volunteers that have allowed the Association to persevere with great creativity and resilience. And as the Association prepares to enter its third decade of operation it has learned that embracing collaboration and networking achieves impact. While small is not necessarily more beautiful, BICAA’s hard-won accomplishments demonstrate that impact cannot always be correlated to size.

No doubt Jane Maehr and Jean Howell remembered the old adage, “A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps is a plan. A plan backed by action makes a dream come true.”

As the Cultural Arts Association approaches its third decade of operation, the Baroque Festival continues to be the organization's signature event.

BICAA 2015 Revenue and Expenses

The pie charts below provides a snapshot of revenue and expenditures for the Beaver Island Cultural Arts Association, a 501(c)3 (nonprofit) organization, for the year 2015.

Beaver Island Cultural ArtsRevenue 2015

BICAA-Expense-2015

2018 BICAA Board & Staff

Officers
Ann Glendon, Chair
Terry Hodges, Vice-Chair/Secretary
Tamara McDonough, Treasurer

Directors
Peter Amster
Bill Freeman
Joan LaFreniere
Bill Schneider
Lois Sowa Stipp
Lois Williams

Music Director and Principal Conductor
Robert Nordling

Choral Director
Kevin Simons

Festival Manager
Matthew Thomas

Music Librarian
Laura Schipper

Comptroller
Roberta Welke

Advisors
Ruth Igoe
Ruth Kelley
Sally Rehkopf
Emily Ruddell
Ed Troutman

Emeriti
Anne Glendon, Chair Emeritus
Jane Maehr, Founding Director Emeritus

BICAA Board History

2017 BICAA Board
Peter Amster
Frank D’Andraia, (Chair)
William Freeman
Terry Hodges (Vice-Chair/Secretary)
Joan LaFreniere
Tammy McDonough (Treasurer)
William Schneider
Lois Stipp
Lois Williams

2016 BICAA Board
Peter Amster
Frank D’Andraia, (Chair)
William Freeman
Anne Glendon (Immediate Past Chair/Chair Emeritus)
Terry Hodges (Vice-Chair)
Tammy McDonough
Sally Rehkopf (Secretary)
Ed Troutman (Treasurer)
Linda Wearn

2015 BICAA Board
Frank D’Andraia, (Vice-Chair)
Wendy Fogg
William Freeman
Anne Glendon (Chair)
Terry Hodges (Secretary)
Ed Troutman (Treasurer)
Tammy McDonough
Don Taylor
Linda Wearn

2014 BICAA Board
Frank D’Andraia, (Vice-Chair/Secretary)
Anne Glendon (Chair)
Wendy Fogg
Jane Maehr
Sheri Richards
Don Taylor
Ed Troutman
Linda Wearn
Marianne Weaver
Jenna Wilk (Treasurer)

2013 BICAA Board
Frank D’Andraia, (Secretary)
Charlie Donaldson
Wendy Fogg
Anne Glendon (Chair)
Ruth Igoe
Jim Luteyn (Treasurer)
Kitty McNamara
Jane Maehr
Don Taylor
Marianne Weaver
Jenna Wilk

2012 BICAA Board
Anne Glendon (Chair)
Frank D’Andraia, (Secretary)
Laura Gibson
Ruth Igoe
Jim Luteyn (Treasurer)
Kitty McNamara
Jane Maehr
Judy Meister
Miranda Rooy
Don Taylor
Sue Thompson
Marianne Weaver

2011 BICAA Board
Sandy Birdsall
Laura Gibson
Anne Glendon (Chair)
Ruth Igoe
Judy Jones (Secretary)
Kitty McNamara
Jane Maehr
Judy Meister
Miranda Rooy
Don Taylor
Sue Thompson
Marianne Weaver

2010 BICAA Board
Jane Bailey
Sandy Birdsall
Anne Glendon (Chair)
Ruth Igoe
Judy Jones (Secretary)
Ruth Kelly (Treasurer)
Krys Lyle
Kitty McNamara
Jane Maehr
Judy Meister
Miranda Rooy
Ken Taylor
Marianne Weaver

2009 Beaver Island Cultural Arts Association
Peter Amster
Jayne Bailey
Sandra Birdsall
Paul Glendon
Leonor Jacobson (Secretary)
Judith Jones
Ruth Kelly (Treasurer)
Krys Lyle
Kitty McNamara
Jane Maehr
Joe Moore
Deb Plastrik

2008 Beaver Island Cultural Arts Association
Christy Albin
Jayne Bailey
Paul Glendon
Ruth Kelly
Krys Lyle
Kitty McNamara
Jane Maehr
Joe Moore
Deb Plastrik

2007 Beaver Island Cultural Arts Association
Christy Albin
Jayne Bailey
Paul Glendon
Ruth Kelly
Krys Lyle
Jane Maehr
Joe Moore
Deb Plastrik

2006 Baroque on Beaver Advisory Team
Christy Albin
Constance Curry
Paul Glendon
Jeanne Howell
Ruth Kelly
Jane Maehr (Project Director)
Kathy Speck
Steve Velloff

2005 Baroque on Beaver
Jeanne Howell (Coordinator)

2004 Baroque on Beaver
Jeanne Howell (Coordinator)

2003 Baroque on Beaver
Jeanne Howell and Jane Maehr (Coordinators)

2002 Baroque on Beaver
Jeanne Howell and Jane Maehr (Coordinators)