For the last two years, Michael has had the honor to serve as the Board Scribe at PFS’s monthly Board of Directors meetings. Having worked closely alongside Society and Festival leadership, he has gained a keen insight into the issues surrounding the Society’s growth and transition to its new home.
In addition, his 20 years as a working musician in the Delaware Valley (and his 4 years as a member of PFS’s Philadelphia Music Co-Op) has given him a good grasp on the struggles and aspirations of performers in this new streaming music economy.
The experience gained through his daytime professional life, however, is where Michael brings real value to the Society. He did his bachelor’s work in History, Geography, and Anthropology and attended a cultural resource conservation field school, working in a museum in Chile. After over a decade in the IT and software development fields, Michael did his graduate work in Geodesign and held a prestigious graduate fellowship working for the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation doing real estate and infrastructure research and analysis.
Michael currently works as an employee of the government of the City of Philadelphia in the Planning, Historic Preservation, and Property Management Division of the Department of Parks and Recreation as a geographer and analyst. In addition, he has spent the last few years as an Adjunct Professor of Sustainability at Thomas Jefferson University, teaching classes in Sustainable Land Use Planning and Geographic Information Systems and working on research surrounding the efficacy of “green” infrastructure in the built environment. This combination gives him a unique and valuable perspective to help tackle many of the issues currently before the Society: How do we complete our setup of (and transition into) our new facilities? How do we handle the transition of our 20th century relationships with governmental entities like Upper Salford Township, the City of Philadelphia, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania into a 21st century framework? How do we best attract, represent, and promote the unique needs of folk musicians in and around Philadelphia? And how do we handle the awesome responsibility we bear as archivists and conservators of the irreplaceable legacy of Society and Festival-related objects, recordings, and information that we have been amassing over the last 60 years? Michael's focus will be on transitional issues such as these. To help turn a former shoe store into a world-class listening room and museum of our rich folk music heritage. To assist in the interface between Society and the geopolitical and sociocultural context in which it operates. And to help transition the Society to meet the needs and goals of a 21st century demographic shift that is already heavily underway. Michael loves this organization and its wide range of amazing and passionate people. And he hopes he will be gifted by the Society’s amazing members with the opportunity to make a substantive addition to preserving and expanding our shared legacy.