Eli Goldberg and Mark Bernstein are the 2016 inductees to the Filk Hall of Fame. The announcement was made during FilKONtario in April.
The Filk Hall of Fame honors those who have contributed to filk over the years as performers, organizers, and facilitators.
Here is an excerpt from Mark Bernstein’s acceptance speech Gifts from Filk.
Filk has given me a home
When I arrive at a filk con, I’m surrounded by people who speak with the same vocabulary, who share the values of the community, who are there for many of the same reasons. Like, I suspect, just about everyone here, I’ve had my days, even whole weekends, of feeling excluded, of thinking of myself as an outsider looking in. It can be hard to get past that. But I’ve come to know, on a deep level, that this is a place I belong. It’s a place where I might end up missing that concert I wanted to hear because I fell into a fascinating conversation with people I may have known for decades, or may have only spoken to a few times. It’s a place where I know I can get up and dance when the music moves me, and not be judged on the quality of my movement. It’s a place where I can be certain that at some point during the weekend, my voice will become one piece of a much greater whole, as harmonies and instrumentals ring through the circle. Whether I’m in Mississauga, or Columbus, or Atlanta, or Seattle, or Jersey City, or Basingstoke, I know I’m home. Which brings me to . . .
Filk has given me joy
Joy, and the ways in which it differs from simple happiness, is a personal thing. I can’t define it. But I know it comes in different flavors. When that greater whole I just referred to coalesces, and fills my awareness, that’s a joyful moment. When someone who’s been working up their nerve, sometimes for months or years, sings in front of other people for the first time since childhood, that’s a joyful moment. When someone who’s found their voice here keeps going, keeps on singing or playing or reciting, and manages, whether through applied hard work or simple repetition, to get better and build confidence, that’s a whole series of joyful moments. Those moments accumulate, and build, and keep me connected to this community in a way that will never be broken.
The Filk Hall of Fame jury, representing all the filk cons in US, Canada, UK and Germany, selects the inductees, based on fan nominations. The 2016 jury was: Gary McGath (ConCertino, Boston area); Nick Smith (ConChord, San Diego area); Katy Droge-Macdonald, FilkCONtinental, Germany); Mark Peters (OVFF, Columbus area); Rick Weiss (Conflikt, Seattle area); Rob Wynne (GAFilk, Atlanta area); Annie Walker (Con27ilkin, British); Victor Stevko (Consonance, San Francisco area); Steve Macdonald (DFDF, Germany); Judith Hayman (FilKONtario, Toronto area).