By Banister Pope
I’ve got an agenda for our Friday night meeting in Orlando. I’m certainly not looking to be the chief, but I used to run a pretty tight meeting in a previous life. If it’s OK with you, I’ll lead us through this, so we can leave prepared for Saturday’s membership meeting. Let’s agree to take care of business first and save any digression for later. Please read over this so you’ll kind of know what your thinking is on each topic and what jobs you’re willing to do.
We’ve said what it is that we intend to do and we’re asking our peers to accept our provisional leadership. The immediate next step is to agree among ourselves who’ll accept responsibility for what. So here we go:
Expanding our membership is primary.
There are several ways to tackle this at once.
- Contact everyone who has volunteered for anything and ask that they shepard the enrollment of a half a dozen artists. This means contacting them, explaining what we’re up to and staying after them until they’ve returned a survey.
- Ask Greg Lawler to include one more round of the survey in his mailing. Also Larry Harris.
- Ask Sunshine Artists to publish an announcement of our formation with an address for inquiries.
- Include the survey in our initial newsletter.
We must get a credible newsletter out soon.
New years seems to be a good target date. To do this will require:
- Immediate employment of volunteers to assemble and submit information.
- Gathering information submitted and deciding what to include.
- Working with Bo Sterk (who has agreed to design the format) to make it all fit.
- Getting it printed, assembled and mailed.
This will be time-consuming, but there are lots of volunteers and certainly no shortage of ideas on what to include. So who’ll do it?
Who’ll begin as editor?
Also the Web site. Can we ask Michael Hamilton and Bruce Teschner to do this? They may already have it in place.
Next, we have to decide who’ll assemble teams and lead the effort in each of the areas we intend to address. We’ll all have to help each other, of course, but when we meet tonight, one person has to stand up and say “I’ll be working on this.”
1. Promoting the improvement of existing shows and developing new markets.
This is directly tied to our functioning as a source for show directors. In order to develop a perception of our organization as a desirable (and, in time, an indispensible) asset, we’ve really got to have a hell of a helpful package to offer them. Here’s what I see are necessary components of that package:
- A “National Standards” guideline to encompass what information should be included in every prospectus, postmark rather than date of receipt, space allotments, security concerns, jurying procedures, judging guidelines, standard catagories, slide requirements, etc.
- A list of artists in show area willing to serve on “advisory boards.” (Artists recommended for advisory boards will need to have a grasp of all the information we have to offer.)
- A list of recommendeed jurors/judges.
- A report on hte educational impact shows have on communities.
- Suggestions and “how-to” information for children’s activities.
- List of our membership for mailings.
- An overwhelmingly rosy synopsis of our member artists achievements that can be used for publicity purposes.
- Highlights of, and a way to access, the “Charney Plan.”
- For new shows, an overview of pertinent demographics that underscore the potential of that community. This package should be assembled and ready to present prior to our contacting shows. Again, we can all contribute to the development of this and we can all call on volunteers, but someone has to coordinate all this.
Who will it be among us?
This part could be fun. Armed with evidence of our collective purchasing power (i.e. 200 artists use 300,000 gallons of gas, rent 10,000 hotel rooms each year, eat 30,000 meals, buy a million dollars worth of materials every year, imagine what 1,000 artists do and consider that there may be 5,000 of us out there!). We’re certainly not out of line in persuing some perks. This involves figuring out (though understanding costs and pricing dictates) what is reasonable to ask, finding out who to ask, getting to that person and asking. The people who do this might look at it as a great big scavenger hunt! Okay, this needs a coordinator.
Who’ll do it?
3. Secure “pro-bono” legal counsel by region.
This one is easy. I’m sure everyone of us could find among our patrons a lawyer or two who would be willing to provide counsel (not representation) to artists. They could advise us, as needed, and maybe write a letter to a “bad check” for individual artists and cleverly write off their own costs. Someone needs to identify and contact these lawyers.
Who’ll do it?
4. Establish an annual convention. Explore health care options/ “artist welfare” programs.
These are really long-term considerations. They take some smart research and time.
Who’ll develop our thinking in this direction?
5. Provide support for emerging artists.
This is something we should all, and by all I mean the collective membership, do. It’s easy. A brief bit in the newsletter could establish the mechanism for doing this. Works like this:
Somebody calls me, or you, and says, “Hey, I saw a new artist. A photographer. Here’s their name and address.” So I call Ray and Rick and ask them to write an encouraging note expressing their willingness to share information. It’s easy and helps the industry.
Who’ll do it?
6. Next, we have to have some (smarter) one among us develop a financial plan for the association.
Frankly, I don’t know what considerations apply here. I suppose: 1. Figuring out what we need, 2. figuring out how to get it, and 3. keeping track of it (being the treasurer).
Who’ll do it?
Initially, I thought we’d have to have a “front man/woman” to be the designated liaison between the association and everyone else. I don’t think so anymore. Now I think that if we’re all available it will be easier for everyone. As a steering committee, we should all be up on what’s happening and be able to refer any question to the one of us dealing with that specific area. Between us, we either know or are known to a great many artists and we can avoid any reluctance that an interested person may have in contacting a total stranger. The more of us that are listed as contacts, the more accessible we are. (We’ll include names and our addresses in the newsletter.)
Someone has to get the mail. Can we keep the Alpharetta POB? Will Rick and Lenny redistribute as necessary?
So that we’re all kept abreast, can we send seven copies of whatever matters out? Is there a better way? What is it? Okay, so what will the mechanism be?