About Siglin Music Preservation Fund


 

The mission of the Siglin Music Preservation Fund is to preserve, digitize, and make available an extraordinary collection of live performances recorded over three decades at The Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We seek to raise at least $70,000 to move the project forward and begin making the performances available online to all who love music, study music history, are nostalgic about The Ark impact on their lives, and are fans of specific performers.

 

For decades, The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI, has been one of the most revered acoustic music venues in the United States. From its origins in 1965 as a church-run coffeehouse in a large, old house to the upstairs of an old brick building at the corner of Mosely and South Main, to its present location in downtown Ann Arbor, The Ark has been an intimate space for listening to and engaging with local, regional, and North American folk musicians.  

 

Dave Siglin, a performer himself, joined The Ark in 1969 as the Manager/Director. Only the performers knew that, with their permission, Dave was recording a total of some 3,000 hours of live shows from the sound mixing board. These thirty years of recordings now exist on fragile reel-to-reel and cassette tapes.  Dave maintained these tapes of compelling performances with the vision that sharing them would invoke the memory of a time when hearing America’s musical roots in a live intimate performance could be transformative.

 

The artists in this collection of tapes demonstrate the wide range of Americana music. For example,

  • Eclectic folk song revivalists like Michael Cooney, Mike Seeger, and Joe Hickerson following in the footsteps of Pete Seeger and the New Lost City Ramblers
  • Troubadours like Ramblin’ Jack Elliott are cut from the same cloth as Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie
  • The Putnam County and Highwood String Bands represent this style from the Appalachians and Ozarks.
  • Folklorists like Gamble Rogers and Utah Phillips combine story with song
  • Artists like Bessie Jones and the Georgia Sea Island Singers preserve and spread the history, culture, songs, and more of the enslaved peoples of the Georgia Sea Islands.
  • Numerous Irish, Scottish and English folk artists like Clannad, John Roberts and Tony Barrand, and the Friends of Fiddler’s Green drew the connections between American folk and country music with their musical and cultural origins in the British Isles.

 

All funds donated to the Siglin Music Preservation Fund will support the work of digitization experts, students who will interview the performers and/or their families to obtain permission to stream the music online, and a website developer to update and maintain the internet presence.

 

With your support, the Siglin Music Preservation Fund will:

  • Complete the digitization of the 3000+ hours of performances
  • Complete the digitization of over 1000 photographs and a complete set of flyers and posters advertising the performances at The Ark
  • Complete the cataloging of all materials to support online searching of performers and shows
  • Conduct interviews with performers, bandmates and/or available family members to obtain permission to make their music available online
  • Build and maintain a website including updates and addition of recordings as they are released

 

The Siglin Music Preservation Fund is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. The Fund’s Board of Directors is dedicated to digitizing the Siglin tape recordings and presenting them to a wider listening audience, with the full and passionate guidance of Dave Siglin.

 

Will you be part of our effort to make these treasures available to all?

 

For a sampling of performances, please visit our website: Siglin Music Preservation Fund

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