Dear LSAG Members:
philosophy is that it is better to encourage than discourage; better to
uplift than to push down; better to inspire than to be a dream killer;
better to try than to give up, or worse still not to have tried at all. Many times in my life I've had to walk
these things out...live them, not just talk about them. So it has been
that when I was blessed to serve as president this year that I
approached the challenges we had with optimism and looked for how simple
improvements could be made and membership benefits could be increased.
I wanted to build our members up and set them up to succeed. Our
website now resembles the vibrant organization we are. Help pages on
the website and the beginnings of what I hope will eventually be many
featured artists have been added. One other simple way I want to
encourage and inspire is for us to acknowledge and honor those who
contribute: the volunteers, others who have made an impact in other
artful ways--teachers, art philanthropists, and others who have contributed to the betterment of art and its promotion, and those who have created a life's work adding to
the beauty of this world and the creative spirit. We have advertised
from the very beginning that we'd be adding some new forms of
recognition, and this is what we've referred to.
in many leagues is a challenge. Perhaps your league has a regular
rotation of leadership and is not relying on the same ones year to year
to carry the organizational burden. But some of our leagues have faced
this challenge for some time. I know of one member who graciously
serves BOTH of the leagues in which she is a member in the same
capacity. Others have served for multiple years never taking a break
from responsibility. Without these members serving, things that
everyone enjoys and relies upon like shows and demos would not otherwise
happen. Knowing this challenge was an issue, I took it upon becoming
president that I'd try to find a way to encourage volunteerism. As
such, I mentioned we'd call for volunteers to be featured artists on the
website. I also mentioned at the very first meeting with officers that
I'd like to honor those who serve this way at convention. This was
back in August. I took time over the course of the year to ponder how
to be as inclusive as possible while at the same time making it mean
something of recognizable value.
NWAL member passed away suddenly earlier in the year, it made me think
there should be some way to honor her and her achievements in art. This
led to thinking about others who have had a lifetime of artful
contributions and still others who have had other art related
achievements that could only inspire fellow artists. Maybe they are
teachers or perhaps serve in other more quiet ways; they might work in a
philanthropy to bring healing through art or have some other art related achievement. Our convention is about celebration, but we
don't really talk about celebrating those who are not in the show.
Shouldn't we? I think so. There's more to LSAG than just the juried
convention show. Some members do not even participate in shows. Do
they not also deserve recognition for their contributions to the league
or community? It is about the inspiration we find in demo artists and
in being together to celebrate art & the artist.
that same August meeting, 3rd VP Golda Rader (CAL) shared about another
organization she is in & how they also have recognition
opportunities for their members. Recently, when asked to review the
proposal, only 2 people shared that they didn't support the idea. The
majority agreed with the proposal saying that all looked great. At the
open spring meeting two Saturdays ago, those 2 along with 2 others
---all of whom are from the same 1 league--- voiced their opposition.
But I don't think the voices of one league should drown out the voices
of 15 other leagues. With that in mind, I ask for your opinion to be given
whether you agree or disagree.
Can we take a few minutes to honor those
who serve, those who have achieved, and those who have contributed a
lifetime of work? Opposing views think it will be too expensive, take
too much time, and will lead to hurt feelings. I don't believe pennies
to encourage are too much. It won't be a prohibitive amount of time,
and any time it takes to honor those who give countless hours of their
own, I believe they are worth it. Hurt feelings? I think we are more
mature than that, and we have built in a variety of ways to be added to
the list including self nomination. The burden is not on the leagues.
Choices do not have to be made between members; ALL can be acknowledged.
spirit of LSAG, of having artists at a variety of levels competing at
their own level, of welcoming students from elementary school to adults,
and the warm bond of encouragement I know is not just unique to the
clubs I am in--- these are rare finds in an art organization. We may be
used to it and take it for granted, but that does not mean it is
typical elsewhere. What do YOU say? Do we honor others in our
organization for their artful contribution or does this go too far or
against what LSAG is about? Agree or disagree, please share your voice
to this conversation by May 16th by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's hear from ALL of our leagues. I will respect the majority opinion.