by Katie Wilde
You may or may not know that we are a member-based organization. It is our members who make us who we are. If you a believer in, or even curious about the power of the arts, one way you can connect to the arts in your community is by becoming a member. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is the membership coordination and the support that I offer members. I’m always pleased to answer a few questions about what it means to be a member of Guelph Arts Council. Here is what I’ve learned from our members and community members along the way.
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Our members are not just artists and those that are aren’t just your quintessential painter-type either. They’re authors, crafters, potters, builders, glassworkers, filmmakers, singers, musicians, storytellers, puppeteers, photographers, textile and fibre artists, actors, performers, printmakers, poets, art educators, curators, appraisers, and creative people of all kinds! They also are groups, charities, and businesses made up of passionate individuals who work to deliver the arts to our community in various ways.
Don’t worry, we also have many fabulous painters too!
While painting en plein air is a wonderful art form, for the health of your artist body, we can’t recommend the ergonomics of this sitting position.
Our members are long time theatre-goers, followers of local art news, and attendees of exhibitions, events, and sales. They are also people who believe that the arts community is at the heart of who we are and what defines our city. In addition, our members are great people who support the arts council and our efforts simply through their annual membership to our organization.
Stay informed on local opportunities – posted online and in the office. You can also call, visit or email if you’re looking for something specific. We’ll direct you to the right opportunity whenever we can.
Promotional avenues – The sleek profiles in our member directory show a snapshot of your artistic efforts and can either direct people to your website or offer an interim online presence. Post your events on the calendar any time, and in our e-news once a month. Boost the visibility of your event on our calendar and advertise yourself in the sidebar with our new affordable artist advertising program (to be launched in 2015). Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and send us a message asking us to follow you. Tag us in your art posts and we will share them. People from the community regularly call us looking for artists and groups. Make sure we know about you and what you do so we can recommend you to them!
Find artists and arts groups – Get inspired, make friends, join a group, buy art, attend!
Artist Members are eligible to apply for our members’ juried exhibition, Wall of Art.
Discounts – Members are eligible to receive discounts on events like to Art on the Street, workshops, and conferences. We also offer discounted membership advertising rates on our website. Organizational Members with a membership of their own can ask for a discount code to pass on to their members, who will receive 10% off an Artist Membership.
Consultations with staff – Not sure what the next step in your artistic career should be? There are so many aspects to being an artist. From your ongoing education to pursuing grants or turning your art into a business, we can help you break down the vastness of opportunities and obstacles into manageable goals and areas of focus for what YOU want to get out of your art.
Help transitioning to an online presence – Not so comfortable with computers? Find the thought of having to make your own website a bit overwhelming? While our profile pages aren’t meant to replace a website, they can be an excellent start to having an online presence. Low maintenance, you have 24/7 access to update and change it, but will also receive personalized assistance during office hours if you have any difficulties. We also offer an initial set-up/training session for those whose comfort with technology is still in the growing stages.
Discover or rediscover your creative city – Whether you’re new to town or a born and raised Guelphite, we bet there are yet unknown artistic treasures hidden in Guelph for you. Let us help you discover them!
Vote at our Annual General Meeting – When we ask you to add your voice to ours, we mean it! We are a membership-based organization and we are proud to represent you.
Support us with a membership fee of $5 (General), $30 (Artist), or $50 (Organization), once per year. Nothing else. There are no mandatory meetings, events, or volunteer hours.
We love showing you off to others! Invest in us, so we can invest in you. Make the most of your membership by taking advantage of what’s in it for you. We encourage you to attend our in-person social events, ask us how we can help you promote your artistic exploits, set aside a time to chat with us about your activities or goals, and let us direct you to some opportunities. You can even volunteer with us or donate. How involved you become is up to you.
We’re proud to represent you and we can’t wait to get to know you!