REPORT FROM THE ASIA SYMPOSIUM – July 2015
As Sales Manager at LMI, I have had the pleasure of attending the biennial meeting of the Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (ASIA) 9 times. This summer (June 2015) I returned to East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. for the latest ASIA Symposium along with LMI’s Natalie Swango and Joel Guillen. We sold wood and tools (along with a number of other vendors, including 8 other wood vendors!), attended lutherie workshops and lectures, and enjoyed the camaraderie of others in our business. It’s a great time!
The ASIA Symposium (along with other similar gatherings such as the Guild of American Luthiers convention and the Northwood’s seminar) allows luthiers to learn new building and repair techniques, and in addition, to support each other’s businesses in a variety of intangible ways. Marketing, customer relations, supply sourcing, as well as the day to day personal and financial struggles of running a small business are all discussed formally and informally. Greater professionalism and success is the welcome side-effect of this dialog.
This year I joined a panel (with Baker Rorick and Julius Borges) to discuss the status of guitar festivals in modern lutherie. We’ve all seen festivals come and go, but this model of presenting instruments to the buying public continues to thrive, despite the challenges in producing festivals. With the common goal of presenting luthier-made instruments as a desirable option to musicians, guitarmakers continue to find value in leaving the solitude of the shop to reap the benefits that an open and engaged community of builders has to offer.
With this in mind, I have decided to step up my (and LMI’s) support of lutherie by joining ASIA’s board of directors. With my everyday contact with luthiers of all types, I will endeavor to bolster the community (and its positive effects on individual businesses and the industry as a whole) by helping to build membership and increase participation in ASIA’s magazine (Guitarmaker) and the next Symposium (in 2017). Don’t be surprised if I tap your shoulder the next time we talk! I am certain you will find that greater participation offers many rewards. And I welcome your thoughts and ideas on how ASIA can better serve you. Feel free to send an email to my attention.
See ASIA website.