News From Britt Hill – October 2016

I wrote this column several years back and have never repeated a column before now. Read on and you will understand why I am re-publishing this sweet reminder.

I am dedicating this entire column to the Britt Society, the unsung heroes of Britt Music and Arts Festival. Did you know that the Britt Society is a separate non-profit 501c3 organization with their own Board of Directors and membership made up of 300 fantastic and active people? Established in 1964, its mission is to provide financial support and volunteer service to Britt Festivals. It’s led by Bow Seltzer, Director of House Operations, and our capable leader inspires the volunteers and guides the day-to-day operations that help create a healthy, safe and cheerful community on the hill.

Did you know that on a on a normal show night, we have 90 volunteers working as parking attendants, ADA assistants, trolley attendants, ticket takers, event staff, hill ushers, gift booth sales staff, chair renters, ice cream sales staff, artists merchandise sales clerks and raffle sales ambassadors? Did you know that it takes 18 people to clean-up the litter left by 2,000 happy concert goers after every show? Well, now you know just a little bit about our incredible crew. But, there is more…

There are many layers to our organization’s overall success and the Britt Society represents a very thick layer. In addition to the folks that you see on the hill taking tickets, parking cars, assisting ADA patrons and selling cookies, there are invisible heroes working behind the scenes. These folks show up year-round to paint buildings and fences, stuff envelopes, plant trees and work at off-season events.

It takes simple math to quantify their contributions. A rate of $17.50 an hour is the standard amount used for calculating the value of volunteers in the world of grant writing (which is a world we live in). Using that wage, their collective 15,000 hours a year represents over $260,000 of in-kind work each year. In addition to this phenomenal contribution, they donate approximately $50,000 cash annually back to Britt. What is even more amazing is that they don’t tell us how to spend it! They trust us to use our resources wisely.

And one last shout out to our Medical and First Aid Volunteers. They keep us safe and healthy. By serving Britt, these volunteers serve the entire Jacksonville community. So, next time you see a Britt Society Volunteer, give them a pat on the back and say “thanks.” Volunteers are crucial to Britt and our community’s success. We simply could not do it without them.

We have volunteer opportunities throughout the entire year as well as during the summer concert season. If you are interested in joining this incredible group of people, please contact Bow Seltzer at