Executive Team 2020 Year-End Letter

Jan 12, 2021 | News


We don’t have to tell you that 2020 was a challenging year. It tested our lives and families and communities like no other year in recent memory, and it tested Vanguard Music and Performing Arts (VMAPA) as well. But with a new and hopeful year, We wanted to share with you a few thoughts about this organization as we begin to see some positive signs moving forward. This organization has everything necessary to regain footing and to thrive, and we are confident we will all stand together soon and see the return of the programs we love so much.

2020 brought frustration and uncertainty to the VMAPA organization. Obstacles ranged from the shock of COVID-19 cancelling rehearsals and our much-anticipated summer tour, changes in our organizational leadership, staff reductions and furloughs, burglaries, and the ever-changing status of bingo in Santa Clara County leading to a substantial decline in revenue. Yet despite this dark period there have been many wonderful moments of heroism from our volunteers and positive efforts across a far-reaching community of Vanguard champions.

We raised nearly $200k in donations from our Front & Center and Home for the Holidays events
Bingo bounced back with innovative parking lot games
Summer educational programs adapted to online formats
We recovered vehicles that had been targeted by vandals and burglars

Every day, even at the darkest of times, we saw this organization demonstrate the grit and values that have always been there and that have created such a culture of excellence. The passion and commitment of our volunteers and supporters is a thing to behold, and we saw the dedication, muscle power, and heart of Vanguard get behind the bus and push us all up the hill. The time of challenge is not yet over, but this pandemic has given VMAPA a very unique opportunity to harness this passion in order to regroup, retool, and reconceptualize.
Looking forward, here is what we can expect across VMAPA in 2021:

A 36-month strategic plan for emerging strong and ready for championship level competition after the COVID-19 pandemic.
A steady and profitable bingo operation to help fund our programs.
Open and transparent communications about Vanguard programs, initiatives, progress, setbacks, and ways to contribute.
A 2021 season that prepares for the Santa Clara Vanguard and Vanguard Cadets to return to the field in 2022.
The launch of the Vanguard Historical Society
An online store for the purchase of Vanguard instruments and equipment.

Make no mistake: we have a lot of work to do. But there is much to be hopeful about. Vanguard has always pushed itself to achieve the highest standards of professionalism and excellence. We are an important part of the drum corps community and the performing arts community as a whole. We strive to improve the world around us by producing a lifechanging experience for our members who build upon a foundation of musicianship and dance to realize their own potential while inspiring others. We strive to use this rebuilding time to improve our processes and emerge a stronger and more resilient organization than when the pandemic began. We will accomplish this, and we will live up to the ideals of Vanguard while setting our organization up for a long future of brilliance, innovation, expansion, and professionalism with a spirit of positivity and togetherness.
This year the passionate level of support and volunteering we’ve seen on multiple fronts has been astonishing. Each person who has stepped forward and asked “what can I do,” thank you for your total devotion and positivity. Twenty twenty one will be no different in the need to keep the hope, positivity, and effort high. How can you help this year?

Health and Wellness will need licensed medical professionals (Physical Therapists, physicians, nurses, social workers, and licensed massage therapists) when our program begins to open back up.
Vanguard is looking for solid business connections and partnerships. If you have access and can help us network, let us know.
There will be several opportunities to volunteer in person and remotely. We will ensure we are open about these opportunities.
We want people from every generation to help us with the gargantuan task of archiving the history of our organization with the Vanguard Historical Society project. Look for information on our first meeting in February.

May each of you have a very successful 2021, and we hope you will join us and all of VMAPA for an exciting ride to 2022. If you can help with any of the efforts above, let us know: jvanwert@scvanguard.org.


Jeremy Van Wert Co-Interim Executive Director
Mike Kovalich Co-Interim Executive Director
Michael Gaines Director of Programs

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