Oct 1, 2017 – The Call

A Time of Splendor

“Don’t talk to me of solemn days In autumn’s time of splendor, Because the sun shows fewer rays, And these grow slant and slender. Why, it’s the climax of the year,— The highest time of living!— Till naturally its bursting cheer Just melts into thanksgiving.”

From Merry Autumn by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

There is a slight chill in the night air these days. Leaves are dazzling our eyes with hues of gold and crimson. The sun visits us for less and less hours of the day. It is the season of change, Autumn. Or as one of my favorite poets, The notorious PLD, notes “It’s the climax of the year”. And it truly is. NEMAA has been bubbling with change all summer long from strategic planning with the board with our consultant Kate Khaled and her team, to shoring up our infrastructure and redesigning our website with Von91, to our months long process of updating our brand with Pollen. And now that we have moved into the climax of the year, we are so excited to roll out some of these changes over the coming weeks.

The board, staff and I, through these processes, have learned a lot from you and the community around NEMAA. We have learned a great deal about how NEMAA is perceived both by internal stakeholders and external. We have learned a lot about our various stakeholder communities, well. We have a better understanding of how we can serve our communities better and how we tell the story of our collective love affair with all things creative. We have an opportunity and the resources to illuminate the wonderful work being created by the makers, the spectacular infusion of creativity in multiple sectors in our communities, and the beneficial partnerships that are responsible for preserving the memories of what was and shining a light on and building a path towards what can be. More than an events planner, NEMAA is a steward of this creative community and we take this role seriously and without frivolity.

As we roll out our new branding over the next few weeks, we hope you get a sense of a freshness, vibrancy, and legacy of a mature organization ready for its next chapter as a metrowide leader in the arts, building connections across the region at a time when advocates for the arts and artists are necessary now more than ever. It is our hope that you, the membership of this valuable organization, will help us to tell the story that will keep at the front of the minds of our community members the value of this creative community that goes beyond the monetary but really does play a major role in illuminating the soul of the community, bringing people together, and strengthening our neighborhoods.

At the climax of the year, we look to celebrate the visual art that has been created over the past year at NEMAA’s AutumNE Member Show at the end of October and will open the studios for Open Casket, Art Attack, California Dreamin’ and more. Of course, you can look to the NEMAA app for more information as those events approach. And as members, you will see a whole new website by December, a new cleaner look with features that will allow us to share your work and tell the NEMAA story and allow you to more effectively attract visitors to your practice. Thank you all for being a part of the change. Once again, we look forward to sharing all of this with you during autumn’s time of splendor.

Merry Autumn!

Dameun Strange

NEMAA Executive Director

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