For Release: May 8, 2020
— The AES’s campaign to raise funds to sustain the Society through the COVID-19 pandemic has garnered support from a host of individuals, from audio industry companies including speaker manufacturer Genelec, and from partner organizations including PAMA —
The Audio Engineering Society has 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. “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,” said AES President Agnieszka Roginska.
Further such validation has come from AES industry partners. “To us, the AES represents the only serious forum for the development of audio, and the work it does for our industry is invaluable,” said Siamak Naghian, Managing Director of Genelec, an AES Sustaining Member, when announcing the speaker manufacturer’s contribution to the fund drive. “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 “endlessly recyclable” RAW series of loudspeakers, housed in environment-sustaining chassis. Further, Genelec is inviting individuals in the audio community who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, both professionals and students, to apply for one of ten Genelec-funded 12-month AES memberships.
“Genelec has been a steadfast partner to the AES for decades,” shared Roginska, “contributing resources and expertise that play a major role in the quality of our Convention technical programs.” With their contributions to AES’s fundraising campaign, she elaborated, along with the company’s Platinum Sponsorship of the upcoming AES Virtual Vienna Convention, “Genelec is reinforcing its commitment to the continued vitality of the audio industry. The AES greatly appreciates Genelec’s pledge of this further support, helping sustain the Society’s essential contributions to the audio industry.” These contributions are in addition to Genelec’s endowment of the AES Education Foundation’s Ilpo Martikainen Audio Visionary Scholarship, offered annually to an AES Student Member that is a U.S. graduate student in the field of audio engineering.
The Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA), an association of leading companies dedicated to the awareness and appreciation of high-quality professional audio through education, passion and common purpose, is also contributing to the Audio Engineering Society’s fundraising initiative. “The AES plays a vital role in the advancement of audio technology, promoting innovation and education.” said 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,” commented 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.”
The AES staff and volunteer leadership have worked diligently 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. As with any business, AES has recurring expenses such as rent, utilities and infrastructure; web hosting and email; and various mission-critical contracted services. 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 – 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.