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Thread: You and your local Arts Council

  1. #11
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: You and your local Arts Council

    I am a member of an organization in Astoria Oregon. LightBox Photographic. The gallery has been dedicated to photography only, for 10 years now! The owner has done this on his dime through show calls, membership and other fundraising. We are going to establish a "Guild" if you would, whose purpose is to bring together serious photographers from around the country and globe to become involved in education through workshops, talks, community education both is Astoria and Portland/Vancouver. The gallery has produced world class shows and we are in the beginnings of trying to take it to the next level. I'll share what I can as things evolve. I'd encourage everyone to take a look at the website and the over 100 shows and the images from those shows that are on the website. Become a member if you wish. Thanks.
    http://www.lightbox-photographic.com

  2. #12
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: You and your local Arts Council

    Jim, I see that gallery also does Pop Up Shows which I think are great.

    My former Art Coop Condo was not keen on the idea.

    I see many advantages, if the Art is installed in the afternoon, wine party from 6 to 8 and then make everything disappear.

    Either sell the art or take it back home.
    sin eater

  3. #13
    Mike in NY's Avatar
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    Re: You and your local Arts Council

    Brian,

    My undergraduate degree is in arts administration, and I was on the staff of the High Point Arts Council (NC) in the mid 80's. My career pivoted from the arts, to arts-in-education, and then to educational research. During that time I wrote and won over $13 million in competitive grants, and taught national grant writing workshops. I also wrote a book review column on fundraising and grant writing guides for a national newsletter, and the best how-to book on the market then was Mary Hall's "Getting Funded." It was the standard by which I judged all others. It's probably out of print but still available in soft cover from Amazon resellers. I work in a completely different field now, but if you ever need someone to review a grant proposal before you submit it, I'd be happy to give you an objective opinion - just PM me if the time ever comes.
    I dream in black and white.

  4. #14
    John Olsen
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    Re: You and your local Arts Council

    We're fortunate to have a non-profit art school in the community. Founded about 25 years ago by fabric artists, it has a teaching facility and a full menu of multiday workshops, including many in photography. Nearly all workshops are led by visiting experts. Just last week I got to hear a great lecture by Brooks Jensen of Lenswork.It's one reason why we retired to this location, knowing that there was broad interest in art and an art-supportive community. Check out the Pacific Northwest Art School in Coupeville, WA. If you make contact with the PNWAS, I'm sure Lisa Bernhardt could offer useful suggestions for your own situation.

    As in the response above by Thad, this is a small town effort in a somewhat isolated community. There may be many models to investigate, judging by the responses.

  5. #15
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: You and your local Arts Council

    Thank you all for your suggestions, well-wishes, and commentary.

    Bob, please do post your FB group here on the forum, I am sure many would be interested, as am I.

    Thad, thank you for the link, as your local organization seems to be in a city of similar size to mine, so highly relevant. Will look closely at it as an example.

    Jim, LightBox is interesting. I personally would like to see "Focuses" inside our organization that could be medium-specific in the future. For now I am looking at all visual arts. Interestingly, there is a lack of "fine art" photographers in the immediate area. Lots and lots of commercial portrait/wedding folks. The last guy I talked to, who was moving out of a gallery space, informed me that photography was not an art. Again, this was a photographer, showing work in a gallery. I'm guessing he didn't make any sales. Anyway...

    Randy, our current ability to do shows is limited, so a pop-up style show is the current idea to focus on for us. I like your timeline .

    Mike, thank you, I will keep that in mind! I will also look at finding that book. I am currently reading a textbook on Boards of Trustees and their management.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  6. #16
    Mike in NY's Avatar
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    Re: You and your local Arts Council

    Another suggestion, for high-level overviews of diverse related topics, are the 2-minute answer guides at the Center for Non-Profit Management.

    https://cnmsocal.org/nonprofit-answerguide/
    I dream in black and white.

  7. #17
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: You and your local Arts Council

    Great link! Thanks!!
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  8. #18

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    Re: You and your local Arts Council

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    For those who participate in a local area Arts Council or Arts Alliance, I would like to hear from you. Specifically, I would love to know what benefits you feel you receive as an artist or supporter of the arts, what you expect from such an organization, and perhaps what you feel is lacking in your local organization.

    I am not talking about photography clubs or interest groups, but local non-profit or city entities that support the visual arts or all forms of art, perhaps your local museum or art center, etc.

    My wife and I are working on starting an organization locally and I am doing lots of research on this topic, and thought I would ask the wider audience here who may have a more diverse set of experiences in other areas of the country/world.
    Bryan,

    Hi. I currently serve as co-president of a Washington, DC non-profit co-op that has been around since 1971. A non-profit arts organization is a very broad concept. Through your research figure out what direction(s) is best to go into to give the organization a chance of success. How you expect to generate revenue? IMO, your local area and the demographics will place a big role in what will work.

    My co-op succeeds through a combination:
    -member dues (typically 20-25 members in total)(lower dues then our competing co-ops in DC)
    -art sales (70% artist/ 30% gallery commission split)
    -occasionally offering juried art exhibits (either group shows or a solo) when we have an opening in the exhibition calendar
    -the occasional gallery/ space rental for events
    -every 2 years, we do a fundraising event.

    Our non-profit acts more as a platform to help local artists exhibit their work, connect with new buyers who they will hopefully maintain a relationship with. Basically, the gallery business model is more focused on helping the "entrepreneurial artist" and not so much as an art outreach/ educational model.

    We are located 2 doors down from the largest non-profit arts organization in DC, but they don't generally sell artwork & focus more on outreach, getting grants & 2 large fundraising events per year.

    If you have any questions..shoot me a PM.

    Greg
    Last edited by gregmo; 3-Mar-2019 at 08:53. Reason: adding info

  9. #19

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    Re: You and your local Arts Council

    Corran,
    I helped a small non-profit navigate the 501c3 process over 20 years ago, when it was easy. I don't envy you your task, but wish you well with it.

    I can say, from an unfortunate more recent experience with a local arts organization, to choose your board members carefully. I resigned from the board of that one because a fellow board member kept attacking my integrity in public meetings. She was so far off-base as to be ludicrous, but I no longer felt like putting up with the abuse.

    Best of fortunes to you and your missus.
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  10. #20

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    Re: You and your local Arts Council

    Forest Grove, Oregon (pop: 25,000) has always been strong on public involvement in the government. I was on the Historic Landmarks Board for many years, my wife remains on the Library Commission, etc. In 2007, they formed a Public Arts Commission with volunteers from the public as members. An employee of the City government sits on the team for staff support, and the Commission is overseen by a member of the City Council, in this particular case, the Mayor.

    They've done great work and have been responsible for a number of neat projects. They provide grants for art projects, and they sponsor public art events throughout the year.

    https://www.forestgrove-or.gov/bc-pac

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