Saturday, March 7, 2009

A New Adventure

Sorry I've been absent the last couple of days. I had some work done with my dentist and have been feeling a bit icky... Happily I am feeling better now. I am also excited to report that I have some exciting professional news: I have a new job (of sorts).

On February 16th, Sabi and I went to this artists meeting and met some very talented people. It just so happened that it was also the first meeting of the group and I spent much of the night conversing with the group founder, Anastasia, and her friend Catherine. We were bandying about ideas for events to have the group organize and while we were brainstorming we were all pleased to find that we 'bounced' quite well off of each other. We made plans to meet later and discuss some ideas and all had various things to check outin the interim.

Well, I met with Anastasia again on Tuesday (we have also talked via email etc..) and after some discussion about the best ways to proceed, in order to take advantage of the energy and opportunity we currently have, is to work on incorporating our group as a non-profit, and file to obtain tax-exempt status.

About Anastasia and Catherine, it is quite exciting, for me, to be able to work with these women. Both of them are well-established and accomplished ladies who bring a lot to the table. Anastasia, who will be the CEO, is a published author and experienced actress. She worked in marketing for several years, enjoys 'schmoozing' and has a wide network of friends and contacts that will be valuable in our fundraising efforts. Catherine, who we hope to have as our COO, has a Master's degree in Theatre Administration, has organized many events, and also has contacts and Administrative skills that will prove quite important to our success.

I will be the CVO (Cheif Visionary Officer) and Co-President with Anastasia. While we will split the cheif position of the organization, our titles will kind of reflect our differing roles within the organization: I am, at the moment, acting as architect of the org.. I am writing up our mission, vision, business plan, creating our website, and basically building the structure of our business. Anastasia is going to act as our "cheif fundraiser" and essentially the public face of our organization. Together the three of us will develop the "what" of our org, I will figure out the how and why, and then Anastasia and Catherine will execute our plans.

This is really exciting, our organization has an amazing purpose (which I'll get to in a sec), and for me personally it seems to offer an opportunity for me to finally use my biggest talents to their full potential. I have always been a person who has great business acuity and ideas but I have lacked the managerial and sales skills that arenecessary to implement those flashes of brilliance. Here I have the chance to work with people who have the ingredients I lack in order to really make amazing things happen, hopefully for many people.

So the business:  the website is not finished yet but should be up and running this week (I hope). Our tentative mission statement is: It is the mission of ___ to utilize the power of Art to create opportunities, promote individual and community development, enrich the lives of the people we serve, and work together to fulfill Art's potential to improve society.

Our planned programs include: WAM JAMs-- social meetups for artists to make friends with other artists, network, share their work, collaborate, and have fun. Art House-- our headquarters, a property purchased in a blighted area and transformed into art through collaboration of member artists; Art House will serve as our offices, WAM JAMs venue, a place for us to hold classes for low income adults and youth, house community programs, and we will offer use as an event hall. We will help promote our members through our website, by offering creative opportunities/events/ competitions, and through networking. We also plan to offer a wealth of resources on our website, including forums and classifieds.

This is all pretty early in the planning stage; we still need to make our business plan, bylaws, and formally figure out allof the details. I'm very excited, though, and have my fingers crossed that this will be a fun new adventure and experience :)

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