Associated Students of SJSU (San Jose, CA)


  • Name:Mr. Ted Gehrke
  • Title:Fountain Blues Festival Director/Producer

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Associated Students of SJSU
  • Address:c/o AS House, S.J.S.U.
    San Jose, CA 95192-0128
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:408-353-3087
  • Main fax:408-924-6258

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • The Associated Students of San Jose State University mission is to represent the students of SJSU and continually improve the quality of their educational opportunities and experiences.

  • Overview:
  • Associated Students of San Jose State University has been a student owned and operated non-profit organization for over 100 years. Associated Students is committed to providing services and activities that enhance the opportunity to meet, recreate and maximize student life. Opportunities to get involved and obtain leadership skills are among our highest priorities.

    Associated Students guiding principles and values include:
    - Campus Life: Campus life is an environment where the educational experience is enhanced through means of accessible services, collaboration and student input.
    - Student Wellness: A commitment to the betterment of a student as an active individual in society where physical, mental and social strengths are developed.
    - Student Services: Provide services to students based upon their demonstrated needs in a fiscally responsible manner. In its interactions with students, A.S. seeks to develop future leaders by involving them in decision-making and providing opportunities for work experience.
    - Life-Long Learning: Associated Students supports the University's mission of life-long learning by engaging students and providing a bridge between the classroom and the global society through co-curricular learning opportunities.
    - Student Advocacy and Cultural Competence: Provide an opportunity for students to find voice, share their opinions, express ideas, concerns and needs to the campus and greater community.

    The Fountain Blues Festival was born in 1981, as a vehicle for the Associated Students Program Board at San Jose State University to repay its fans (both student and non-student) for their backing of the ASPB's concerts and events during the year. It began in a sunny area on the Tower Lawn at the center of the San Jose State University campus, the weekend before finals in May. Around 1000 blues fans appeared at the free of charge event, the sound system was excellent (we have never scrimped on infrastructure), the weather provided the usual California afternoon and evening, the mostly local blues acts were much better than anyone believed possible, the feedback was so very positive that the students put funds aside that next fall for the Second Annual FBF, again in May. The truly incredible John Lee Hooker was booked, a couple of thousand fans came, whole families felt secure and safe enough to dance and party with friends old and new, and were completely transfixed by the power of the music and the great poetry.
    And now, suddenly it seems, here we are lining up bands for our 34th annual show. THAT IS NOT A MISPRINT. We were completely free for our first 24 years, then moved to a $5 donation (Etta James does NOT perform for free) for a couple of years, then a $5 ticket; then $10; and in 2013, a $15 ticket price. Each increase in price has prompted loud arguments among the producers. This is that exceptionally rare event: the one that was never intended to make a profit or even break even. The enlightened attitude of the Associated Students of SJSU intended that the FBF always be free to all.

    Though funding by the student organization ended due to state cutbacks, the Fountain Blues Festival still maintains the integrity and the core values of the Associated Students. And so the tradition and the music education continues, with the Associated Students as the non-profit primary partner.

  • History:
  • The Associated Students of San Jose State University were founded in 1897, incorporated in 1960, and given non-profit status in 1980. Associated Students has assisted with funding or as the non-profit driver of the Fountain Blues Festival for all its years. In 2012, San Jose Jazz and San Jose Downtown association formed a partnership with the festival organizers to help preserve the event and provide some financial stability.

    The Fountain Blues Festival was born in May 1981. We have presented many of the legends of the Blues on our stage: Etta James (free); Gatemouth Brown twice (both free); John Lee Hooker twice (both free); Derek Trucks ($10); Bo Diddley twice (both free); Buddy Guy twice (free, and $10 donation); Koko Taylor (free); Robert Cray ($10); R. L. Burnside (free), etc. Many more are listed later in the application.

    The exceptional interest that Associated Students continues to have, after 30 years on campus and for the past three years just six blocks away, plus the the continued quality presentation of the FBF, certainly deserves legendary status. Since our move from the university environs, we are truly honored that the Associated Students remain -- even during the summer months -- our non-profit sponsor for grants. Besides making sure that the FBF maintains a high on-campus profile year-round, the AS is a supplier of excellent, energetic young volunteers for our show; bankers for any grant monies we are fortunate enough to receive; issuer of checks and purchase orders when we need them; AND they buy 100 tickets at half price to distribute on campus, primarily to summer-session students. The AS is fully aware that they are also granting blues lovers the greatest GIFT possible for these 30 years -- THE VERY VERY BEST OF THE BLUES.

    We plan in 2014 to lower the door fee, allow homemade food in again, and feature a craft beer appreciation area, all in an attempt to find our optimal business model. Our week-long lead-in to the FBF, San Jose Blues Week, in 2013 enlisted a solid dozen clubs to feature blues-based bands for the entire week prior to the Festival date.

    The extreme importance of preserving this truly original American Art Form has driven our Festival now for 33 consecutive years. When musical genres sink from sight, it is a swift thing. Raising the sunken musical form is quite another trial. Long and arduous, and frequently, impossible. It will be interesting to see how long, if ever, the Modesto, or San Francisco, or Monterey Blues festivals take to be resurrected. We hope to avoid needing to "rise again," by staying healthy and in firm control of our future. The Associated Students agree with this approach. As does the promise of continued support from the SJDA and SJ Jazz, it seems our little Festival has found the right time, a fine new home, and with your help a bright new start to our next 30 years.

    We are most pleased at the new direction of your application categories, and hope to convince you of the fact that any aid you can offer us will definitely help us preserve a wonderful original completely American art form, at a ticket price that allows all to enjoy this event no matter what their background of financial status.

  • Year established:1960
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:3
  • Advisory board size:13
  • Staff size:15

Board and Executive Names

  • Board Members / Trustees:
  • Nicolas Alaya-President;Peter Lee-Vice President;
    Avesta Sabetian-Controller.
    Aaron Miller; Brandon Marquez; Tiffany Wang; Nathan Gottheil; Cole Niblett; Akshat Gupta; Annie Blaylock; Victor Hernandez; Mykel Jeffrey; Jennifer Davis; Laura Hart; Gabriel Rodriguez.

  • Executive Director / President:
  • Ms. Cheryl Vargas; Executive Director

Staff Names

  • Key Staff:
  • Ted Gehrke- Producer;
    Bruce Labadie- Vendors;
    Dennis Broughton- Stage Management; and
    Amy Anderson- liaison with San Jose Downtown Association - City permits/liasion, main logistics, business/neighbor liasion.
    Bradyn Blower-AS liaison/artists care and feeding.


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:Operating
  • Tax ID:94-1156305

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:941156305
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:
  • Organization Address:1 WA SQ MB 0129
  • Organization City:SAN JOSE
  • Organization State:CA
  • Organization Zip:95192-0001
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:November, 1971
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:16
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization that normally receives no more than one third of its support from gross investment income and unrelated business income and at the same time more than one third of its support from contributions, fees, and gross receipts related to exempt purposes. 509(a)(2)
  • Activity Code(s):037
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Other student society or group
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:June, 2017
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:June
  • NTEE Code:B80Z
  • Asset Amount:$12,313,502
  • Asset Code:8 ($10,000,000 - $49,999,999)
  • Income Amount:$8,324,395
  • Income Code:7 ($5,000,000 - $9,999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$8,317,635
  • Last Updated:3/21/2018 7:09:15 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.