FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About - PCS / ALBERT MUSIC HALL
1 - What is PCS?
The Pinelands Cultural Society ( PCS) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit, tax exempt, Cultural & Historical Preservation Society . This is explicitly delineated in the PCS Certificate of Incorporation and Constitution. PCS has so operated since its inception in 1974.
2 - What is the only purpose of PCS?
To preserve the cultural history of the people and inhabitants of the "pinelands" of southern New Jersey.
3 - What is to be preserved?
All cultural elements relative to the NJ Pinelands region. (e.g. artifacts, music, history, legends, literature. ) including the "traditional" weekly music gatherings in the likeness and spirit of those begun over half a century ago at the Albert brother's cabin.
4 - What is unique about the "traditional" musician gatherings at the Cabin in the NJ Pinelands?
It is the combination of the following three attributes which makes these gatherings historically significant and unlike any others:
a. Large, diverse gatherings of musicians and friends assembled on a consistent year long, weekly basis.
b. Musicians and friends assembled solely for personal enjoyment, socializing with those of like interests, sharing songs, and improving skills in the process.
c. Reception of money for personal gain is not a factor for anyone involved, neither musicians or their host, which inherently leads to the uncommon ambiance of the gatherings.
5 - How is PCS preserving the NJ Pinelands cultural history?
In accordance with incorporation document requirements, PCS has successfully constructed and now operates and maintains an "Albert Hall" building exclusively for the following purposes:
a. As a "Living History" venue: Preserves the regular structure, feel, fun & camaraderie of the original "traditional" weekly music gatherings in the spirit of those at the Albert brother's cabin.
b. As a repository for and the preservation of NJ Pinelands relevant archival items: Preservation of all appropriate recordings, artifacts, photographs, and documentation.
c. By provision of general/specific education: Provide for educating the general public in the areas of music, legends and traditions associated with the culture and history of the NJ Pinelands inhabitants via special programs and regular living history presentations.
6 - How was PCS able to build the present Albert Hall Building?
a. Albert Music Hall was financed entirely by monies from concerts, raffles, snacks, gifts, and personal donations.
b. A special bill was unanimously passed by the NJ Congress which allowed the Board of Education to deed a portion of their land to PCS, due to the Society's status as a Cultural and Historical Preservation Society.
c. Thousands of hours of effort during the construction and finishing phases were donated by PCS members and musicians to bring the building to fruition.
7 - Why is PCS different from other "similar-looking" music organizations?
a. PCS is a historical preservation society . PCS is not a music organization per se. PCS is preserving, in a "living history" format, the singular style of musical gathering, including its inherent unique ambiance, as previously addressed in the answer to Question 4.
b. No one receives or takes any payment. - Management/Staff/Musicians. Not even "gas" money - as many travel thousands of miles per year to donate their effort and time in support of PCS.
c. Whereas there are 100's of venues where one can earn money, there is only one PCS/Albert Hall where enjoyment and personal satisfaction are the sole drivers for all involved.
8 - Has the uniqueness of PCS/Albert Hall been recognized by others?
Yes, PCS/Albert Hall has been recognized and has received prestigious awards from all levels of government including local, county, state and federal. These awards are proudly displayed in the lobby area of Albert Music Hall.
PCS has been honored by inclusion in the American Folklore Center, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
PCS is also a member of the Moving Image Collections International Database, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
9 - Beyond personal satisfaction, does PCS offer any intrinsic advantages to the individual musicians?
Yes, PCS provides consistently available facilities, 50 weeks each year. This includes free heated & lighted "picking space" and restrooms when the Hall is open. Musicians freely associate and socialize with others, which offers the potential to form new musical groups to play tunes they enjoy the most. The following beneficial opportunities exist at PCS:
a. Opportunity for newly formed groups to present themselves to a live audience.
b. Opportunity to perform with and use professional caliber sound equipment.
c. Opportunity to improve stage presence before a large, friendly, and attentive audience.
d. Opportunity for personal exposure to a large music-oriented audience & media announcements.
10 - What is PCS doing now with "earned" monies?
a. PCS is solely responsible for maintaining/operating the Albert Music Hall building and grounds.
b. PCS is actively pursuing long term preservation of the documentation and audiotape/videotape archives and restoration of significant historical artifacts for future generations.
c. Scholarships are awarded each year, as well as the presentation of musical history-oriented educational programs.
11 - What are the immediate tasks?
a. Continue to maintain the feel, fun & camaraderie of the "original" gatherings to the greatest extent practical.
b. Continue all building & grounds maintenance, inspections, and related tasks.
c. Continue archival material & artifact preservation.
d. Continue and expand education-related activities.
12 - What of the Future?
Future generations/scholars will have access to most all that has been accomplished via access to PCS archives in connection with the U.S. Library of Congress. A valuable and important part of the NJ Pinelands Culture, the "traditional musical gatherings" that originated therein will have been preserved along with tangible artifacts and relevant documentation.