As 2020 comes to a close, we wanted to take a minute to not only say goodbye to the year that has brought us so much hardship, loneliness, sadness, death, closures, cancelations, delays, anxiety, and the list goes on…but to also recognize 2020 has brought us a shift in perspective, compassion and activism. It has opened our eyes to so much adversity and unfairness, it has opened our hearts to our community, families, friends, neighbors and more.
And through it all, YOU have kept us going.
When the pandemic first hit, we postponed Treefort (twice!) and our favorite long-time friends in venues, bars, breweries, retailers and restaurants closed their doors, stay-at-home orders were in place and anxiety was running high. We knew we had to restructure in order to survive. As a creative pivot in our business model, we opened up ownership to you, our community. Since we introduced the new dynamic in July, we have gained over 600 owners and raised more than $255,000 for festival operations. To become a Community Owner of Treefort, you can contribute via the Wefunder and get some sweet perks at multiple levels, starting at just $100. Join Us.
We often use music to escape and without the live aspect, we were left thinking what now? how long? what’s next? As the pandemic kept on, we had to get out of our heads and do some reorganizing, rethinking, refocusing. Within our own Boise community and the music community at large, many groups formed various causes to help support those in need, Treefort was one of them.
- Together with Morrison Center and Boise Arts & History Department we formed the COVID Cultural Commissioning (CCC) Fund where we collectively granted 69 creators $1000 awards, many of whom showcased their work at a Fall Preview and we are working to have a full CCC Fund showcase in Spring/Summer 2021. Stay tuned on our News page and our socials.
- Treefort Community Fund was started as a 501(c)(3) non-profit that will help fund education and cultural activities within the Boise arts community. The board of directors hail from various sectors of the non-profit and arts community.
- The Treefort Live Music Relief Fund launched in April 2020 to support our local live music ecosystem during COVID-19 crisis. This emergency initiative offers financial resources to those working in the live music scene here in the Treasure Valley. Treefort Live Music Relief Fund has extended over $27,600 for local artists, musicians, audio + lighting engineers, techs, tour managers, production managers and others in the live music industry. Many ways this was made possible was support from y’all — proceeds of the House Show beer (April) and City of Good Beet beer (October) funded this project as well as donations from individuals and organizations. If you’d like to give to the Live Music Relief Fund, you may do so here via our Cauze profile.
- Festival Director, Eric Gilbert has spent countless hours meeting with nationwide National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) officials, local venue owners, Idaho congressmen and lobbying groups to help #SaveOurStages and be an advocate for not only us as a festival and promoter with Duck Club, but also our local live music scene as an entire ecosystem.
- Led by local leaders, Treefort Leadership Team member, John Michael Schert has helped to bring together members from our arts community to establish Idaho’s first ever Antiracism Coalition. Members continue to meet monthly to discuss how we, as arts, culture and history organizations in the Treasure Valley can name and set action steps to continue our commitment to antiracism, social justice, and combating inequality.
- Treefort Producer, Lori Shandro, has been an essential board member of the newly founded City of Good. Created in April as a 501(c)(3) non-profit by Boise businesses and civic organizations to help feed the vulnerable populations in our community.
In addition to all the new partnerships and collaborations, many of the forts have been busy this year creating programming that pivoted from their regularly scheduled content.
- This Summer, Storyfort collaborated with the Idaho Botanical Garden to create a safely distanced reading series, Bloom which also featured some CCC Fund recipients!
- Later on in the fall, in partnership with Filmmaker Magazine, a selection of films from the Filmfort 2020 lineup were available to binge-watch online for free during Filmfort Weekend.
- And of course, Hackfort easily went online, starting an ongoing series about all things tech on their Twitch channel, check it out!
Whew! It has definitely been a year we won’t forget on many levels. We can’t help but think of the good times we all missed out on the last 300+ days and despite not having much FOMO as everything came to a halt, it still stings a bit knowing our last big hurrah was at Snowfort back in February.
So while we’re all ready for 2020 to be over and to start anew in January, we must recognize all of you who have stepped up to help, contribute and participate with us over the year. You have been keeping us going, literally. Without the support from y’all, Treefort would cease to exist and we cannot imagine a Boise without Treefort.
You have helped reignite the spark that started Treefort back in 2012 and given us renewed optimism about what lies ahead. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
We’re looking forward to coming back with a fresh vision of the future, stronger than ever, so go ahead and jump on this positivity train that leads us directly into 2021 by getting your Treefort 9 pass! And in the meantime, you can still get 30% off all merch in the Treefort Store through 12/31 using code BYE2020. Last chance for your gifts to arrive before holiday — place your orders by 12/18!