John Knoebel's Fundraising Page


Annual Appeal

John Knoebel's Fundraising Page


Thank you for considering making a donation to the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus (NYCGMC). My request is sincere, and urgent. To make your donation immediately, click on the orange "Give Now" button at the top of this page. Or, read my letter below to learn more about NYCGMC, and why we need your support now more than ever. 

I know you have a strong appreciation for the arts, and for volunteer-based organizations that serve the community. I also know that you recognize the value in seeking equality for all people, and understand the difficulties faced by non-profits that rely on volunteers and charitable donations from corporate sponsors and other benefactors to continue the good work that they do. NYCGMC can be described in all of these ways, and more.

A fixture on the New York City cultural scene since its founding in 1979, NYCGMC was the first gay chorus to perform in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, the first American gay chorus to tour Europe, and the first to have a recording contract with a major label, having produced eight recordings.

The membership, which comprises 200+ singers from all walks of life.  Of course, the extraordinary thrill that comes from hearing the roar of an appreciative audience in Carnegie Hall isn't bad either! But there’s a lot more to it than that. Since 1980, NYCGMC has been creating music that transforms lives by raising its harmonious voice to promote social acceptance and equality in NYC and beyond.

Admittedly, some things have gotten better since the 80’s, but there's still a long way to go, with regard to even such fundamental basic rights as marriage equality or serving in the military. NYCGMC can’t change those laws or the complexities surrounding them all by ourselves, but by putting a human face, and giving a voice (and a really fabulous voice, I might add!) to the LGBT community, NYCGMC really can make a difference, in more ways than you might imagine. 

In addition to three concerts at major performance venues, we sing at fundraisers and social functions for civic, educational, health-related and a variety of other community organizations and non-profit groups all throughout the year. Our show of support for these groups helps them to raise both funds and their own visibility. We sing to entertain, and bring joy to our audience, but also to promote community activism, advocacy, tolerance and diversity.

But now, on the eve of its 30th anniversary season of bringing harmony, awareness and visibility to New York City in support of the LGBT community, NYCGMC is in jeopardy of having its voice silenced permanently due to severe financial difficulties. Decreasing donations, limited resources and the rising costs of production make it more difficult in 2009 than ever for a community arts organization to survive. 

 "We are not going down without a fight," said Peter Criswell, the Executive Director of NYCGMC. "We have drastically reduced operating expenses and embarked on a no-holds barred fundraising campaign. We have remained a grassroots organization with many generous individuals and a few loyal corporate sponsors supporting us. In a better economy, that kept us afloat. However, with today's economic downturn and rising costs, we will not be able to begin our 30th anniversary season without an influx of funds. We are making our plight public to ask for steady, solid, ongoing support from our straight friends and allies as well as the LGBT community in New York and beyond to ensure our survival and long-term viability."

"NYCGMC and our sister organizations embody pride, family, artistic excellence and visibility each and every time we go on stage. In today's complicated world, those values are as much needed as they have ever been," said Dr. Charles Beale, Artistic Director of NYCGMC. "We have much more to do, particularly with marriage equality and other civil rights legislation in public discussion. We put a face on those issues. We sincerely hope the community will help us continue to sing proudly, touch hearts and change lives through music for a long time to come."

Your generous contribution will help NYCGMC to continue the good work that we do: entertaining our audiences with artistic excellence, while encouraging community service, tolerance and diversity.Please give whatever you can; no amount is too small (five dollars would be greatly appreciated) or too large (five figures would be even better!). I am hoping to raise $500 in the next 15 days. Ambitious? Yes. Impossible? No. I look forward to your generous support to help me achieve this goal.

Thank you!



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John Knoebel's Fundraising Page
The Chorus at a Marriage Equality gig