January 2009 President's State of the Guild Message

After 62 years of existence, I believe the Art Guild still has a lot of opportunities for the future. However due to our size, I also believe we have a number of challenges. This is the current situation. We now have 223 members ranging from world-class artists, to novices who would like to become world-class. We have excellent programs and workshops planned for the coming year. We have a professional website and an exceptional newsletter. Our annual Clothesline Sale has become a Corvallis institution. We also have several thousand dollars in the bank which should be enough to provide a lot of services to our members.
However we seem to be lacking in member participation. Only a small percentage of our members utilize the website. Usually only 30 to 50 people attend our meetings/ programs. This year we actually had some vacant slots at the Clothesline Sale. It was difficult to get 10 people to participate in the Fall Festival and to get a large turnout at our daVinci Days booth. We have few members who volunteer to be event planners/organizers. Only about 30 members (about 13%) attended the December social event. There are also fewer members hanging work in the Guild’s Hanging Around Town venues. In addition, one of my main concerns is that few members freely volunteer for the key positions necessary to keep the Guild alive.
It appears to me that in order to assure our survival and the success of major activities such as the Clothesline Sale we need to consider some changes. I am not sure what all those changes are, however for the Clothesline Sale, I think we should consider a dedicated sub-group of members committed to organizing and supporting the event on an ongoing basis.
We also need to know how to increase everyones participation in general? Why do you belong to the Guild? What else can we do for you? And what are you willing to do for the Guild? You can send your inputs to me directly at mike@creativedialog.com or at 6625 NW Burgundy Dr., Corvallis, OR 97330. Please contact me before January 15 so that we can organize and review the inputs prior to the January Board Meeting. Mike Bergen President

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