The Audio Engineering Society (AES) announced that, as of late last week, it had raised more than $159,000 USD since the launch of its COVID-19 pandemic-driven fundraising campaign in mid-April, with a goal of raising $500,000 by June 1.
More than 170 individuals, making donations ranging from $10 to $4500, have been joined by corporations and organizations – 21 new names have been added to the educational non-profit AES’s Sustaining Member roster. (Find out more about the AES COVID-19 fundraising initiative here.)
“The AES is grateful for the validation of its importance to the professional audio industry by each and every contributor that is helping at whatever level they can,” says AES president Agnieszka Roginska.
Siamak Naghian, managing director of Genelec, an AES Sustaining Member, stated when announcing announcing the manufacturer’s contribution to the fund drive, “To us, the AES represents the only serious forum for the development of audio, and the work it does for our industry is invaluable. In its pursuit of excellence and dedication to raising the bar in the industry, it is without equal, and our approaches have much in common. We will do everything we can to help the Society through the ongoing crisis, and this donation is just one way of showing our support and appreciation for this much-loved institution.”
Genelec has committed a percentage of all 2020 sales of its new RAW series of loudspeakers that are housed in environment-sustaining chassis, and the company is also inviting individuals in the audio community who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, both professionals and students, to apply for one of 10 Genelec-funded 12-month AES memberships.
“Genelec has been a steadfast partner to the AES for decades,” Roginska notes, “contributing resources and expertise that play a major role in the quality of our Convention technical programs.”
The Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA), an association of leading companies, is also contributing to the fundraising initiative. “The AES plays a vital role in the advancement of audio technology, promoting innovation and education.” says Greg Beebe, chair of the board of directors of PAMA. “Many of our member companies are key exhibitors at AES Conventions. PAMA recognizes the importance of a healthy AES. We are proud to join the roster of AES Sustaining Members.
“PAMA shares AES’s ultimate goal – a thriving audio industry for all,” adds AES executive director Colleen Harper. “We appreciate their work towards that shared goal, and their wonderfully supportive and generous contribution to the AES to sustain our own complementary work.”
AES staff and volunteer leadership have worked to reduce operating costs and postpone expenditures while maintaining membership services, supporting student and continuing education efforts and other ongoing activities, and planning future endeavors. Creation of a virtual convention, AES Virtual Vienna, has incurred start-up costs while the cancellation and postponement of several AES events have impacted budgeted cashflow.
Planning and organization are also underway on the comprehensive Technical Program for this year’s AES Fall Pro Audio Convention, scheduled for October 21 to 23 in New York City, with contingencies being developed to allow the convention to proceed regardless of the ongoing impact of the global COVID-19 crisis.
Donations can be made on the AES website here via PayPal (use PayPal’s “Send” function to route donations directly to [email protected]). And, learn more about the AES COVID-19 fundraising initiative here.