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Notes from Meetings - May 14 - June 10, 2016

ArtWorks’ Strategic Planning Session Outcomes
May 14, 2016
Facilitator:  Susan Day Fuller, of Fuller Communications
29 participants including ArtWorks members, representatives from Bluseed, Pendragon, LPCA and Kathy Recchia, Grant Coordinator for Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton Counties for the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts Decentralization.
Purpose of the session:
  • To determine the future direction of ArtWorks; should it remain as a marketing and publicity organization, or further define its mission, values, and future directions. A decision was reach before noon, second choice.  The rest came after the decision was voted upon.
  • Fuller explained that the session was a very important first step in a strategic planning process that will take time and ongoing effort to achieve.
Future areas of focus and goals:
After a brainstorming session, participants voted (after lunch) on the Challenges for Saranac Lake as an Arts Destination from the morning SWCO discussion. The opportunities identified are activities that ArtWorks as an organization could act on as future areas of focus and goals.  Given the priority of expanding the reach of SL ArtWorks, that presence requires that all art forms be considered for inclusion in an arts center facility.
Group clearly identified increasing the connections with other community groups, art centers and regional attractions. The top priority is a physical presence.
Other prioritized areas included
Need collectors; Expand to include more performing arts, literary, music activities; Integrate with other community activities; Initiate a young artists group with ArtWorks - Tim Fortune will lead an initiative to more extensively and actively involve the youth of the Saranac Lake region in the Arts; Establish/improve connections with local hoteliers, patrons of Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center, the Tupper Lake Wild Center and ORDA members, and the new Hut-to-Hut group; Establish internet URL – – to help promote arts; Improve ROOST connections & other community promotion organizations; Another organization is NYCON (New York Council of Nonprofits);  Generous seasonal people to support the arts; Collaboration with I Love NY, the Art Trail, NYS Scenic Byways.

Conclusion regarding ArtWorks’ direction:
A majority vote agreed to further define ArtWorks’ mission, values, and future directions beyond being a marketing and publicity organization.
Vision Statement:
Participants developed a draft Vision Statement for Saranac Lake ArtWorks: In 2026 Saranac Lake, as a vibrant community, will be recognized as a leading center of the Creative Communities in the Adirondack Region.
(Note:  A Vision Statement is meant to be a preferred end state at some point in the future.)
ArtWorks’ Mission:
Steps to work towards the vision of ArtWorks include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Cooperative marketing and promotion
  • Maintain calendar of events on the web site
  • Distribute communications
  • Assist and guide developing artists
  • Create opportunities for members to display and sell their work
  • Host educational programs for members
  • Develop community as a legitimate arts destination
  • Hire an employee to assist with the marketing among other tasks to promote ArtWorks

ArtWorks working with an existing 501(c) 3 (not-for-profit) organization:
There is the potential to work within the auspices of an umbrella organization, such as BluSeed, already a 501(c) 3, and therefore be eligible to apply for and receive grants available to not-for-profit organizations.  The New York State Council on the Arts’ (NYSCA) annual re-grant program helps ensure access to arts and culture in each of the 62 counties of New York State. This might be a funding resource for ArtWorks in 2017.
ArtWorks’ paid position: 
Discussed need for a dedicated, paid resource, perhaps in conjunction with a position at BluSeed to facilitate the mission of ArtWorks.  It was noted that Managers or Directors positions should be funded by an income source other than grants, because grants are not a given, ongoing, funding stream.
Steps taken after planning session:
1.  Working Group:
Small group of volunteers met to discuss the conclusions of the planning session including ArtWorks’ mission and the possibility of working with Bluseed.
2.  June ArtWorks Steering Committee and Membership meeting:
Discussed planning session, mission statements, and information gathered from sources to help ArtWorks move forward. Mark Kurtz, David Woodward and ArtWorks members interested in participating, will attend the Bluseed Board meeting on June 28, 2016 to discuss potential for ArtWorks to become a project within their organization.

Next meeting will be Tues July 12 - time to be determined.