Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A time of renewal

The arts council is changing. Our chair resigned in the spring, and our current treasurer and chair (one person) is leaving before the end of the year. Three new members have just joined the council this summer, so along with the three of us who joined last fall there is little continuity. And in the next two weeks we will rethink our funding priorities and procedures, taking into account this summer’s survey results.

Far more people mailed back the survey than completed it online, and we ended up with around 100 completed surveys. We can pass this along to other councils as a positive example, since gathering community input can be difficult. And once we’ve collated and analyzed the results, we’ll have some good information about our community’s priorities and interests.

What we then need is a sense of ourselves: who are we as council members, what are our individual and collective strengths and weaknesses, who should we call on to handle particular tasks, and who would it be helpful to recruit to join us? Do we need someone who has experience in the outside grants world, or with local or state politics, or with the school system, or with PR and marketing? Or do we already have those bases covered? In a way we need to do a collective self-interview, and that may be more difficult than interviewing our community.

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