The 2005 Annual Meeting of the NAIA Board of Directors was held January 21 & 22 in Atlanta, Georgia. We welcomed our two new board members, Janet Parke and Woody Jones.
Executive Directors Report
Ardath Prendergast delivered the Executive Directors report, which included information on many administrative and programmatic areas of the organization. From the report, discussion ensued on various matters, including:
Digital Imaging/ZAPP Seminars
NAIA has held a number of digital workshops and seminars at various shows and locations around the country. The information on these seminars can be found on the NAIA website. We discussed the attendance, the success, the cost of and the benefits to those attending. It was decided that the seminars will be evaluated at the end of March before arranging any new ones. It may be that the need for seminars will decline as ZAPP becomes more widely used and other digital imaging questions become less of a concern for art show artists, though the opportunity for artists to view their work projected by the digital projector was thought to be necessary and ongoing.
There was a report on the upcoming 2005 Artist Conference at Maumee Bay, Ohio, July 24-26 which is shaping up to be the best yet. The AC Committee is preparing the agenda and programming. Sara Corkery designed beautiful cards announcing the conference. These will be distributed primarily at art shows between now and July.
Further conference info may be obtained on the NAIA website.
Artist Copyright Issues
There was discussion of the ongoing relationship between NAIA, WESTAF and ZAPP. WESTAF continues to turn to NAIA for guidance with the system, and NAIA is continuing its efforts in having shows disclose information and procedures of importance to artists on the shows profile page. There was also discussion of the copyright protection issue. Presently, WESTAF and the ZAPP partner shows are reviewing a document authored by NAIA with the assistance of our attorney concerning copyrights. As has been discussed on the Member Forum and with our attorney, copyrights protect themselves. The purpose for this document is for shows to acknowledge and respect artist copyrights.. Copyright infringement by an art show is against the law, and as such is open for prosecution. It was noted that the handling of artists images is an issue for all art shows, and the NAIA will adopt the document below as an advocacy to be promoted to all art shows. This version is basically the same as that which we are urging ZAPP to adopt and include as part of a ZAPP licensees profile page. The text of the copyright document is:
Art Show Acknowledgment to Respect Artist Copyrights
As an Organizer, Producer, or Promoter (Organizer) of this art show, art fair, or festival (Art Show), it is acknowledged that artists and artist applicants (Artist or Artists) may hold copyrights on the digital images (Images) of their artwork that they submit as part of an application to Organizers Art Show as follows:
A. Organizer acknowledges that the Images submitted as part of Artists profile and application to Organizers Art Show shall be used only for the purpose of displaying to Organizers jurors as part of the judging and selection process for inclusion in Organizers Art Show, and that Artists retain and reserve all rights, title, and interest in the Image and all Copyright, including but not limited to all rights of reproduction.
B. In the event that an Artist is selected to exhibit in Organizers Art Show, Organizer further acknowledges that use of Artists Images is limited to a one-time usage of such Images in Organizers program, website and/or other non-merchandising advertising. The Images should not be otherwise reproduced, loaned, or syndicated for any other purposes without the prior express written permission from the Artist. If Organizer desires to use Images for any purpose other than in its official program and/or on its website as speciically granted herein, Organizer is advised to get prior written permission from the Artist. Organizer recognizes that should such permission not be obtained, Artist could elect to pursue any copyright violation procedures to which they may be legally entitled.
C. Any reproduction of Artists Image(s) as described in Item #2 above should include the copyright symbol (), date of publication and the name of the artist in a conspicuous place next to, or adjacent to, the image.
By checking the I Acknowledge option below, Organizer confirms to Artists that Organizer acknowledges the copyrights of Artists Images described above.
__ I Acknowledge
__ I Do Not Acknowledge
(Signed) Organizer of Art Show
Officer and Committee Assignments
Janet Parke was elected Secretary of NAIA
Board and Staff Committee positions were assigned. A list of all those serving on Committees can be found on the website.
2006 Directors Conference
The Director Conference was discussed; it is planned to be held in connection with Art Fest Fort Meyers in sunny Florida in February 2006. It will be open to artists, similar to the Artist Conference being open to show directors.
2005 Board Goals and Initiatives
Discussion turned to what the board hopes to specifically accomplish in 2005 besides the Strategic Planning:
A. An Ad Hoc committee will study, revise and recommend advocacy positions for NAIA. The goal will be to include position papers on those advocacies deemed to be the most important and realistic to accomplish. The position papers will be sent to shows, along with a disclosure questionnaire inquiring into the various policies and practices of the show.
B. Based on those advocacies and the questionnaire responses, the committee will develop a show rating system that would identify those shows that listen to the artists and those that do not (i.e., artist-friendly shows).
C. Publish an NAIA Newspaper printed on news stock and financed by advertisements. This newspaper would be distributed free of charge to artists at art shows. The idea is to reach all artists with interesting information, pro and con position articles on issues that affect all of us, and do something positive and fun to identify NAIA as the worthwhile organization it is.
NAIA Budget and 2005 Income and Expenses
One of the most significant issues addressed at the meeting was the 2005 budget. If you looked at the budget in the recent newsletter, you may have noticed that NAIA is operating at a deficit. The reserves that NAIA holds will be able to cover the shortfall for this year. If NAIA is going to continue its efforts and grow with a paid staff, additional funds will be required. As a 501(c) 6 trade association, the most significant means of obtaining funds is through dues. Other possibilities include the continued donations of some artist and contributing members above the level of dues, some small fundraising efforts, advertising in the newsletter, the proposed newspaper, or website, and the possible profitability of the Conferences. However, unless NAIA income grows through an increase in memberships or increase in dues, the NAIA will be unable to continue to function in its present form. This will be an issue of critical importance in the long-range strategic planning.
NAIAs financial picture has changed significantly due to the addition of paid staff. The board has come to the realization that NAIA cannot operate as an organization without at least a half-time paid Executive Director, and stipends to the Webmaster and Membership Coordinator. We have been paying the stipends for some time, but those amounts have been minimal.
The board decided to increase Ardaths position to half-time, doubling her quarter-time salary. Our webmaster, Michael Hamilton, received a well deserved 25% increase and the Director of Communications, Sara Corkery was provided a stipend of $1000. Presently, the Membership Coordinator position is vacant, but should be filled soon. This represents a significant commitment to our staff and to NAIAs funds. The board believes that this is essential for the health and effectiveness of NAIA. The budget was passed.
The board discussion moved to the necessity of raising dues. Some members of NAIA express the opinion that NAIA should represent all art show artists, that the Forum and the SIF should be open to non-members, and that NAIA should develop programs to benefit all art show artists. That leaves two choices: either the present members of NAIA will have to cover for their non-paying colleagues, or membership must increase. Increasing our membership is the key to keeping dues low. If each member attracted just one new member we would be on very firm financial ground.
Unless the number of our memberships increases by at least 300 there isnt another comfortable option. Reluctantly, it was decided to raise dues as of August 1st. Any artist who becomes a member by August 1st would do so at $55. The increase to take effect on August 2nd will be dependent on the membership numbers at that time.
A Personal Note from the Chair
During the January board meeting, we spent a great deal of time discussing the NAIAs current condition, board responsibilities and membership expectations. It was quite valuable to talk face to face among ourselves about the present and future state of NAIA. Board members expressed a genuine commitment to wanting to make a difference, to accomplishing the goals we have set, but are personally concerned about the time, energy and resources required to meet these challenges.
It has taken a long time to get NAIA on firm organizational ground, and there are still a few things that need attention. The rather burdensome process for dealing with membership data is being addressed, and all the financial data has been computerized. Thanks to Ardath, the budget is now itemized and there are mechanisms in place for communication within NAIA and to the outside.
Over the past year this board has been responsible for finding and hiring a new Executive Director, a new Communications Director, organizing and attending Artist and Director Conferences, board meetings, searches for replacement board members, ZAPP, Town Hall meetings, SIF, surveys and data compilation, communicating with the membership and with each other, and the continuing efforts of Strategic Planning. It takes a lot of time and effort, and so far has left little time to take on specific tasks, such as the promotion of artist advocacies and the improvement of the art show environment. We want that to change, and we all must be realistic. Obviously, the effort at long-range goals and strategic planning is aimed at identifying who NAIA is and what it wants to and will be able to accomplish.
One thing the board is aware of, but which may not be clear to the membership, is how much it takes to continue the efforts now being made. Last year we worked with a minimally compensated staff of three partial-time workers. Ardath was hired at one-quarter time, but worked full time. Michael Hamilton, who has been with us from te beginning, is responsible for the maintenance of the website, all forums (Member, Board, Board Emeritus, Show Information Forum, art show directors, and several staff forums), as well as e-communiqus and technical support for the membership. He receives a small compensation for this work, but is more of a volunteer than he is paid staff. NAIA also has a paid position for membership data and dues collection, but the position is now vacant and Ardath has temporarily accepted the handling of those duties. The board (which also acts as staff) and a very few member volunteers manage the rest. It is unrealistic to expect the board to take on much more. In order for NAIA to continue to grow and be effective, it is critical that we have a paid staff and a much larger base of member volunteers willing to commit time and energy to the tasks that need to be accomplished
There are many things that a non-artist staff would be in a better position to handle, and there are things, like the evaluation of art show practices, that we as artists are better equipped to address. However, the volunteer board of NAIA cannot continue to do all the necessary work of running the organization, carrying out the program and committee work, and take on any further tasks until the infrastructure of the organization is secure.
Below is an overview of the state of NAIA, and what your $55 in dues provides.
NAIA Member Assets:
- Survey Mechanism
- Outreach in the form of Town Hall Meetings
- The Show Information Forum
- Discounts on hotels, rentals, and equipment.
- Respected, Collective Voice
- Membership and database administrator
- Board of Directors
These are the efforts that exist for the economic and professional success of NAIAs members. Its pretty impressive so far. Think about it: Is it what the membership wants from NAIA? The Strategic Planning and upcoming surveys may provide the answer. We have much that we want to do, but the accomplishments so far are significant.
- The website is full of valuable information and services for all art show artists. Members may have a web page of their own showcasing their work, for a very small charge, and no fee after that.
- The member Forum has turned into a civil, interesting, wealth of knowledge and a platform for a professional exchange of ideas and opinions.
- The newsletter is a valuable tool for communication with our members and other art show artists, as well as containing informative articles. With the NAIA Newsletter now available on line, it is more accessible and less expensive to create and distribute, and now contains more graphics and color.
- The Director Conference, now in its seventh year, has been successful at bringing together art show directors from around the country, allowing them the exchange of ideas, networking and the presentation of the artists point of view to art shows.
- The Artist Conference, now in its third year, is a fine opportunity for artists to get together away from the show environment, and learn more about the artistic and business side of our lives.
- Through the efforts of the Board Input and Survey Committee, NAIA is now able to survey members and others online and obtain information directly from artists on a wide variety of subjects.
- The Town Hall Meetings are a great communication tool that takes advantage of artists gathering in large numbers at art shows, and makes it possible to reach members and non-members alike.
- The Show Information Forum is in its infancy, and is being tweaked to make improvements. There are over 179 users and 175 articles available to read about a variety of art shows. This asset more than any other relies on the membership to thrive and strengthen.
- The Benefits Committee has worked diligently to provide real monetary savings to the membership. These savings can easily offset the small yearly dues.
- 550+ membership
- Finally, and possibly NAIAs greatest asset, is its respected collective voice. Our collective voice was the #1 response to a recent survey asking what would be the most significant loss should NAIA cease existence. We can all surely thank the Founders of NAIA, past Presidents and Board Members for their levelheaded, professional, and ethical behavior, which provided the foundation upon which NAIA can build today.
At present, NAIA is at a crossroads. The vocal memberships biggest concern seems to be conditions at art shows -- from the nuts and bolts of loading and unloading, booth spaces, and show procedures; to sales, marketing, and respect for art show artists. Within the structure and resources of NAIA, decisions must be made about what direction to take. We continue to work on those, and we reach out to our membership to help.