About the Bonk Festival of New Music
Since 1994, The Bonk Festival of New Music has been produced by Bonk, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. Bonk receives generous grant support from the Cultural Development Grant program of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County (Florida) and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, and continues to seek recognition from other national, state and local granting organizations.
The Festival has also gratefully received much support and sponsorship from local businesses and individuals who have supplied, gratis, such necessities as recording services, sound equipment, concert venues, advertising and more. Tax-exempt status has also enabled BONK to receive donations from individuals.
The Festival has also developed close ties with WMNF community radio, which regularly features Bonk artists and concert recordings. The Festival also includes lectures throughout the festival week.
Past Festivals have featured international guests such as Christopher Penrose and Tamami Tono (Japan), Claire Laronde (France), and Ricardo Dal Farra (Argentina). Nationally recognized composer/performer Larry Polansky presented an evening of discussion and performances at BONK in 1997, and a number of other composers from around the country have attended to hear their works performed and participate in other events during the festival week.
Through the Festival’s site on the World Wide Web, Bonk has sponsored an international call for scores since 1995, which has led to its presentation of outstanding works by lesser-known composers all over the world.
The 13th annual BONK Festival of New Music (2004) will take place early in March. Although final program information will not become available until January (2004), a preliminary schedule of works to be presented will be posted at the Bonk website in December (2003).
This site also contains information about the participating composers and performers, and it is being developed as a comprehensive resource for composers and new music enthusiasts.
The festival’s goal, however, is not simply to present an annual week of concerts, but to create a network of dedicated composers and performers who work together throughout the year – sharing ideas, generating commissions, and actively promoting awareness of modern music in their respective communities.
In short, the festival serves as the focal point of a much larger cooperative effort among like-minded and highly committed musicians. For this reason, strong preference in programming decisions is given to works by composers who can attend the festival as active participants and whose interests and abilities complement those of the existing core of festival artists.