About What a Raquette Music and Dance

What A Raquette Music and Dance, Inc, is a not-for-profit corporation incorporated under the laws of New York State, registered with the NYS Charities Bureau, and recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt organization.

WARMD's formal mission, as written May 5, 2014, is:

What A Raquette Music and Dance supports North Country performing artists, ensembles, venues, and patrons in presenting public concerts, rehearsals, classes, workshops, and other live events in the North Country focused primarily on music and/or dance. WARMD particularly encourages participatory events featuring local performers and/or participants. In addition to offering its own events, WARMD supports other local community organizations in providing events by assisting with event promotion; acting as a conduit for grants, charitable contributions, etc; networking and connecting with other organizations; and fostering community.

A shorter version of the mission statement was formalized by the board on December 16, 2016:

Fostering the cultural community of music and dance in the North Country by combining the perspective of venues, performers, and their audiences.

WARMD was organized and incorporated under the laws of New York State on January 8, 2001, by Don Woodcock, Gretchen Koehler, and Beth Robinson, all residents of St Lawrence

County and long-time members of the northern New York music community. Over its 13 -year history, WARMD has sponsored and/or coordinated a variety of dance- and music-related workshops, classes, and performances. Performers, teachers, and workshop leaders have included local and regional artists, while most participants and audience members have been residents of northern New York and adjacent areas of Ontario and Quebec. WARMD events have served a total of several thousand attendees.

During its earlier years, What A Raquette focused on directly providing events for the public. WARMD continues to offer events to the public, most recently with Chamber Music Evenings. These events are designed to provide an informal opportunity for mostly non-professional musicians in small, informal music groups (mostly duos, trios, and quartets) to gain performing experience by playing for each other, rather than for a formal audience.

Since 2010, WARMD has also been exploring ways to provide support services to other performing arts organizations. For example, WARMD has acted as a grant conduit for NYSCA grants to the Northern Lights Orchestra; is currently surveying area music directors about the usefulness of a centralized means of coordinating schedules and locating musicians; and owns a sound system that it makes available to organizations and performers for a nominal fee. The board has also considered but not yet taken any action on ways to function as a parent or umbrella organization for performing arts organizations that have not yet established or don't want to have their own corporate identity, as well as ways to help organizations meet their needs for legal, accounting, insurance, etc, services.

Starting in 2015, WARMD has been involved in the formation of the Ives Park Concert Series in Potsdam with the primary direction of Maggie and Matt McKenna. WARMD served as the fiscal conduit for a grant through the NYSCA Decentralization Program, administered by the St Lawrence County Arts Council. After a successful year, WARMD decided to officially sponsor the event, and the operations of the program - as well as other related programming - have become the primary focus of the organization.

What A Raquette is not a membership organization, so there are no annual or periodic membership meetings. What A Raquette's bylaws provide for a board comprised of between 3 and 10 directors elected (or re-elected) annually.