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Remove jazz.org as Jazz at Lincoln Center's domain name and develop a separate inclusive community-wide site with the URL.

This petition had 99 supporters


Recently Jazz at Lincoln Center purchased the domain name jazz.org  and is using it as the URL for their website as well as the domain name for all of their email addresses (i.e. johndoe@jazz.org). Their main domain name used to be jalc.org which still points to the website and works for emails as well.

While a two letter difference in a four letter domain name doesn't seem like much, symbolically it is a big deal and in my opinion a big mistake. 

In making this move, the organization has intentionally or unintentionally branded and positioned itself as the very art form that it was founded to uphold and support.  In my discussion with executives at the organization it was explained to me that this move was made to drive more traffic from generic Google searches to their site.  These executives also went on to say that their plan was to expand the presence of jazz on their site to be more inclusive so as to give the uninitiated Google searcher an expanded view of the art form.

While this is a noble gesture and on one level I applaud it, Jazz at Lincoln's view of jazz at jazz.org could never be truly inclusive of the art form because they are but one of many organizations and voices in a much larger and broader jazz community. Furthermore by making this bold move Jazz at Lincoln Center is violating it's own mission statement.

JALC's mission statement is:

The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for Jazz through performance, education and advocacy. We believe Jazz is a metaphor for Democracy. Because jazz is improvisational, it celebrates personal freedom and encourages individual expression. Because jazz is swinging, it dedicates that freedom to finding and maintaining common ground with others. Because jazz is rooted in the blues, it inspires us to face adversity with persistent optimism.

The mission statement can be distilled down to the following basic core values:

1) Democracy - branding yourself as the art form that you were founded to support is not democratic. It's the exact opposite its autocratic.

2) Personal Freedom and Individual Expression - branding yourself as the art form that you were founded to support is the ultimate expression of personal freedom and individual expression. However, I would argue that it is misguided and can be perceived as arrogant and self-aggrandizing.

3) Common Ground - branding yourself as the art form that you were founded to support does not facilitate any common ground among other individuals and organizations within the jazz community. As a matter of fact it can do the exact opposite - it can alienate and polarize the larger community.

4) Persistent Optimism - branding yourself as the art form that you were founded to support is not a display of persistent optimism. Persistent optimism in the face of the adversity of a shrinking marketplace for a niche music would be shown in an inclusive process that engaged others in the community to co-develop a shared resource.

Thankfully there is a solution to this that will allow Jazz at Lincoln Center to 1) completely uphold their core values 2) fully support the art form that they were founded to do 3) engage the broader jazz community and 4) help grow the market for jazz in general.

I petition that Jazz at Lincoln Center cease from using the domain name jazz.org. and further I petition that they donate jazz.org to be used as an independent third party website that would be curated and administered by a collection of sister organizations and individuals from the broader jazz community.  This new site would be democratic, inclusive and would allow for the uninitiated Google searcher to have a much broader view of this beautiful art form called jazz.

All of this is possible with your help.  Jazz is about democracy. Let your voice be heard. Please support this petition.

 



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Andre Guess needs your help with “Wynton Marsalis: Remove jazz.org as Jazz at Lincoln Center's domain name and develop a separate inclusive community-wide site with the URL.”. Join Andre and 98 supporters today.