Tobie Hoffman (President) lives in Philadelphia where she is a member of songwriting and song circle groups. She writes songs that touch on relationships with friends and family, news and issues of the day, and the life of her spiritual community. She uses music and dance in her work as an ESL teacher and as a performer with the Philadelphia Area songwriters Alliance (PASA), Headlong Dance Theater, Movement Midrash, Dance Theater Seattle, and Fanchon Shur. As a member of PMN for over 15 years, she is energized by the sharing of inspiring music that can be used for social action. At Gatherings, you can usually see her dancing at the back of the room or during a workshop.
Charlie King (Treasurer) is a musical storyteller and political satirist. He is a founding member of PMN. Since 1977, he has often served on the Steering Committee, and currently, he serves as the treasurer. He received the 2017 Phil Ochs Award, in recognition of his music and activism for social and political justice in the spirit of Phil Ochs, and the 2014 Joe Hill Award, a lifetime achievement award for excellence in the field of labor culture. He is a founding member of AFM Local 1000, the North American Traveling Musicians Union. He is also an active member of IU 630 of the Industrial Workers of the World.
Paul Kaplan (Secretary) has been active in PMN since the early ‘80s. Around that time he was very involved with Broadside Topical Song Magazine. He was active as a board member, guest editor, contributor of songs and articles, and producer of posthumous Phil Ochs records. Many of his songs deal with issues of peace and justice, from 1970’s “Vietnam” (featured on Smithsonian Folkways’ compilation “Best of Broadside”) to recent compositions “Stand Your Ground for Justice” and “I’m a Survivor,” both of which can be seen on YouTube. Since 1992 he has been a public school music teacher in western Massachusetts.
Luci Murphy is a native of D.C. where she often leads group singing at demonstrations. Currently, she leads songs at Poor People’s Campaign events. She has a long history of community activism, especially working with children at risk. A founding member of the People's Music Network, she is past president of the D.C. League of Women Voters, "Health Care Now!,” and Washington Inner-city Self Help. She has also been the convener of the Gray Panthers of Metro D.C., an associate producer of Sophie’s Parlor Women’s Radio Collective at WPFW 89.3 FM, the Pacifica Station in D.C. and contact person for the Community Coalition for Peace and Justice. She directs the Black Workers’ Center Chorus and sings with the D.C. Labor Chorus. In 2007, she received the Paul Robeson Award for Peace and Justice from the Friends of the People's Weekly World. In 2012 she received the Joe Hill Award from the Labor Heritage Foundation.
Marcia Taylor has been performing and writing songs with a topical/political bent since the age of thirteen. Early on she knew music would be her life’s work, and considers her Bachelor of Music degree a diploma from trade school. She’s shared music across the country in diverse venues, both solo and with other performers, including Charlie King and, in the eighties, with the topical/folk cabaret troupe Bright Morning Star. She lives in Rhode Island, teaching music, performing, composing, and offering ‘useful’ music to people who intend to make this world a better place for all.
Rebecca Pomerantz has attended PMN Gatherings since 1991, and helped plan several of them. Among her contributions to the Network are collaborating on developing content for PMN's youtube channel and raising funds for Accessibility at Gatherings. She sings in PMN choruses and she leads round singing -- both at PMN workshops and in her own local community. Her particular interest is teaching rounds to build community and move people into action. Her own activism focuses on immigration issues. She was a Steering Committee member of Adult Educators Interested in Organizing a Union (AEIOU), and currently works with Mothers Out Front, mobilizing for a livable climate.
Ben Grosscup has been serving as Executive Director of the People's Music Network since 2013. He is involved in organizing PMN’s regional gatherings, program development, outreach, fundraising, and membership development. He works to build the Network by engaging an ever broader and more diverse membership. Ben first joined PMN in 2005 while still in college. Over the years, he has sought the mentorship and support of fellow members to develop his own craft as an activist folksinger. He uses the power of song to amplify and accentuate the ideas and values of the transformative social movements he’s part of. In addition to his work on behalf of PMN, he also brings his music to rallies, picket lines, conferences, and house concerts.