Friday, January 28, 2011

letter from the president

Happy New Year to all of our members! A fresh years means some new people on our Board of Directors. We have three new Board Members to welcome, Forrest Lesch Middelton, Guangzhen "Po" Zhou, and Jean Cherie. I am always gratified to have new people on the Board, and I hope these three are as excited as I am to have them contributing to the running of our organization.

If you missed our annual ACGA retreat on February 9, there were many topics discussed concerning the future of our organization. As president, my primary interest in the ACGA is making it a viable, supportive organization for clay and glass artists practicing their craft, now and in the future. The ACGA can only do all that it does by ensuring a dependable flow of revenue that helps to support our activities. We have several revenue sources, the primary ones being membership dues and the sales from the Palo Alto Clay and Glass Festival. While the PACGF continues to be a successful show in many ways, as seen by the high-quality work shown and continued steady attendance by patrons and fans, the hard fact is we are steadily losing ground in revenue. This is due to rising costs and lower sales gross, a deadly combination. To mitigate some of the losses, the Board voted on a small booth fee hike of $25. I feel strongly that this increase is necessary to alleviate some of the financial pressures of putting on the Festival. We have not increased the booth fee in seven years, and many on the Board felt it was time. We all dislike raising booth fees for any reason, and I want our members to know that we are cutting costs where it is possible to avoid putting more debt burden on our members in the future.

While I am on the subject of the Palo Alto show, I want to mention our publicist, Sharon Poynor, is always looking for fresh angles and stories to help get word to the public about our incredible artists, and you can help her by sending her your stories and ideas for publicity. What new and interesting work will you be bringing? What's special and different about you and your work? Answering these questions and sending your thoughts to Sharon will help her craft the best publicity possible. Even if you are not showing at Palo Alto, any fresh concept or idea for publicity is welcomed by our publicist, so please email her at Someone mentioned at the retreat that it is easy to be lazy when it comes to publicity and assume that the ACGA has a handle on it. While we do the best we possibly can to publicize the the Palo Alto show, it is up to all of us as individuals to help contribute to the overall success of the show by communicating with our audience.

Ideas? Comments? Post them here!

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