Passing the Hat for Fort Reno Concerts

photo by Holley St. Germain

photo by Holley St. Germain

As the last notes fade from this summer’s Fort Reno concert series, let’s take a moment to give thanks that Amanda MacKaye and other concert organizers were able to sustain the nearly five decade tradition. Due to new security requirements from the National Park Service, the cost of putting on the free concerts more than doubled this year – putting the weekly music series in jeopardy.

The concerts are produced on a tiny budget. Organizers receive no compensation. Bands receive no compensation. All so community members can come together to enjoy music without the stamp of corporate sponsorships and so up and coming musicians can showcase their talents.

And the Fort Reno concert series has not charged concert goers a cent in half a century. 

So maybe it’s finally time to chip in a little for what is arguably the best outdoor concert series in the District.

If you’ve ever attended a Fort Reno concert, if you want good music to stay in Tenleytown, if you support outdoor events, or if you are just a music lover – consider making a donation to the Fort Reno concert series.

Here’s MacKaye’s appeal from the Fort Reno concerts website, along with information about how you can make a contribution:

As everyone knows, the concert series has incurred some unexpected costs this year. The support all of you showed during the past weeks has kept our eyes on the prize…the concerts. Besides being a tradition at this point, the Fort Reno concerts are an important community building event. And in order to keep it going this year and in the future, we are asking you to please consider giving a donation that is comfortable for you.

What might not be known is this: the concert series is almost entirely volunteer. Until this year, the only paid aspects of the event were the portable bathrooms and the sound. Additionally, the concerts run totally on donations, there is no sponsor nor any grants or government funding. For the concert series, “free” has many definitions. Our aim is to provide a free space where parents can bring their children of all ages to enjoy music, blossoming musicians can gain experience playing for an audience and those who work to create the Washington, DC music scene can be free to create.

The concert series has been granted fiscal sponsorship through a terrific local non-profit organization called The Washington Peace Center. What this means is that since we are not in a position to be classified as a non-profit, we can run our donations through them and you can receive donation receipts for your tax purposes.

If you use the PayPal link, you will need to indicate that your donation is for The Fort Reno Summer Concert Series. If you prefer to use a check or money order, please make them payable to The Washington Peace Center and in the memo write: Fort Reno Summer Concert Series. You can mail them to:

Amanda MacKaye
Fort Reno Summer Concert Series
2215 N. Culpeper St.
Arlington, VA 22207

Whichever method you choose, please remember that any amount is helpful. And appreciated more than typed words can express. Even if you can’t offer any financial support at this time…please continue to support the bands and the concerts by coming out on Mondays and Thursdays. You are really important to the why we do this.