It's late December and everybody I know is impossibly busy. So, in a way, it is a crazy time to publish our final issue of Kef Times for this year. The next issue doesn’t appear until April.
But in some other ways, the timing is perfect. The articles in this issue demonstrate the stability of the organization despite the uncertainty that accompanies the resignation of Executive Director Jay House Samios. The far-flung interests and expertise in our community are heartfelt and deeply rooted.
And a December issue is one more way to publicize the EEFC’s need for your year-end contribution. In the EEFC Fall 2014 Appeal Letter, which many of us received in the mail, Amy Mills wrote:
As you may already know, tuition does not fully cover the cost of the summer workshops. It is only through the generosity of you—our community—that the EEFC continues to bring top-quality music and dance instructors together to teach us. As someone working in the non-profit world, I can tell you that it is deeply stressful to operate under tight financial circumstances. Yet, the EEFC team does this work because we believe profoundly in our mission to promote, celebrate, and educate the public about traditional and traditionally-based music, dance and cultures of the Balkans. I can think of no better gift than to ensure all of our EEFC staff has the necessary tools to make our annual reunions transcendent.
There’s no requirement that you be a member of the EEFC to read Kef Times. But if you value the content of this newsletter, the cornucopia of information offered by the EEFC listserv, the camaraderie this community provides, and the quality of our summer workshops—which continually yield valuable teaching, great connections and unforgettable, sparkling moments—I hope you will consider becoming a member. Or just making a small donation. Every bit helps. Donate here.
Another thing about the timing of this issue: it's still the holiday season. If you get to the store and purchase 10-15 lbs. of pork butt right now, you might still have time to make Romanian sausage before New Year's. (Or maybe before Old New Year, Jan. 14. ) Check out the recipe and story in the debut of our new “Balkan Bites” column, curated by Rachel MacFarlane.
And finally, at least some folks have a little relaxation time around the holidays. If you do, settle in with a mug of something delicious and start reading the articles that call to you.
In closing, I would like to publicly acknowledge Jay House Samios for championing Kef Times and helping us transition it from a once-per-year PDF publication to a three-times-per-year online publication. Thanks, Jay.