Prairie Crossroads Blues Society
The Prairie Crossroads Blues Society is Created by Sandy Hannum
In just two short months the Prairie Crossroads Blues Society has grown from a seed to a six foot stalk. A firm and growing base is in place, and the leaves stretch skyward. Thanks to the strong efforts of our founders in laying the groundwork, the PCBS is thriving and will no doubt bear fabulous fruit.
On May 23, 2010, the historic first meeting of the organization was held at Jupiters at the Crossing, with eleven members present. The mission of the society was framed in the following words: To educate, preserve, and promote the blues tradition in East Central Illinois:
Our dynamic Board of Directors was selected at this first meeting: President, Rich Cibelli; Vice President, Steve Stoerger; Treasurer, Teri Stoerger; and Secretary, Greg Altstetter. They have been running like wildfire ever since, and have accomplished an incredible amount of work in a short time. Thanks to Rich, we quickly became an official non-profit corporation, with bylaws. Rich and Sherry later met with friend and attorney, Lis Pollock, who agreed to represent our society on a pro bono basis. She started off by reviewing the bylaws. It is great to have friends like this!
Steve has designed a stunning logo for the PCBS which everyone can’t wait to display on as many items as possible. Picturing a stylized guitar with the finger board morphing into tall grass, it brings together the elements of the blues and the prairie:
The second meeting was held on June 22 at the Champaign Library. We now have the following committee chairs: Membership, Sherry Cibelli; Marketing, Scott Harper; Entertainment, Dave Adcock; Newsletter Co-chairs, Dennis Wismer and Sandy Hannum:
Preparing to make our presence known at the Urbana Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival was the next major project. Rich managed to negotiate an outstanding spot for our tent at the event. Dennis had a large royal blue banner made which clearly designated the Prairie Crossroads Blues Society tent at the event. You couldn’t miss it!
With a definite OUT THERE presence at the Blues fest, we were irresistibly positioned for our membership drive. Teri opened an account for the PCBS, and Sherry finalized a membership form. Those manning the booth were ready to speak on the following bullet points which make our goals perfectly clear:
- Promote and educate about “ the Blues”
- Grow our membership
- Bring more Blues events here
- Start a Blues in the Schools educational program
- Become affiliated with the Blues Foundation, so we’ll be eligible to sponsor a local band at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in February
It’s a good thing we were ready for this, since we signed up 24 new members at the event! There was much positive energy coming our way during the fest, and lots of buzz about the new blues society!