Anyone who follows Mile of Music even just a little has likely heard The Mile Team mention that it takes a village to create an event of this scope and to fashion The Mile Vibe.
It’s that “village” – funders, collaborators, volunteers, host venues, artists and others – who have helped us reach our milestone 10th festival August 3-6.
As the festival and its good vibes have blossomed since its launch in May 2013, it has needed an increasing amount of nurturing and support from those in our community who have been able and willing to give their time, talents and/or treasure. Last year alone, for Mile 9, it is estimated that over 3,000 pairs of hands contributed in a variety of ways to help shape what has become one of the country’s special original music events – all right here in downtown Appleton.
Within the hundreds of funders who have bolstered the festival through sponsorships and subscriptions – from local companies both large and small to foundations and their fund holders as well as individuals and couples – we at The Mile Team often talk about those “original partners and collaborators” who were behind the music right from the start. It feels like music to our ears to talk about original collaborators for an original music festival. Among those first supporters was the Community Foundation, and that willingness from the foundation to help make the music happen has been there ever since.
Whether it’s the Community Vision Fund helping seed the hands-on music education programming offered within the festival, the helpful expertise given by foundation leadership and team members to The Mile Team along the way, or, more recently, the significant support provided through the David L. & Rita E. Nelson Family Fund, Mile of Music has been fortunate to consider our community foundation as a key member of the Mile band.
The opportunity for support from the Nelson Fund for Miles 9 and 10 was made possible by the creation in 2021 of Appleton Community Music, Inc. (ACM) as a community nonprofit organization working as a joint venture to help sustain the Mile of Music festival and other original music experiences in downtown Appleton. ACM’s establishment and the support it has already received from the foundation as well as other Fox Valley organizations offer exciting possibilities for the future of the festival.
Our Mile Team had no way of predicting the vibe that would come alive with the first decade of Mile of Music. It is our hope, thanks in part to partners like Appleton Community Music and the Community Foundation, that the second decade of The Mile that starts with the upcoming four days in August continues to be soul-enriching for all who perform, attend and make it happen.
NOTE: Mile of Music Mile 10 is supported by several funds from within the Community Foundation, including: Community Vision Fund, David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund and R&B Fund.