Dec 13, 2018 – The Call
The one where I talk about money
Happy December! Jurors are in studios curating for Wintertide, artists are selecting pieces for SweetArt, the holiday markets and makers fairs are bustling, and Northeast is filled with some serious seasonal cheer. It’s the perfect time to sit down in your coziest chair with a mug of hot chocolate and read about…money. You’ll probably need to get up and add something (marshmallows!) to that hot chocolate before you continue. I’ll wait.
First and foremost, the membership dues hike. As I have stated elsewhere, NEMAA membership has not been raised in 5 years. I’m pleased to say that during that time we were able to add member benefits (professional development workshops, a new website, public-facing newsletter, increased social media presence) without increasing dues. Grants made that possible for the most part. And while we are still the recipients of grants from the McKnight foundation and Cedarwoods, we face an extremely lean year ahead.
In the Next Steps survey, I asked members to weigh in on the amount dues should be increased. A full 35% of members surveyed said they would be on board with a 25% dues increase, which shakes out to be about $94/year for artists. 30% of you supported the 15% hike, 27% were for a 20% increase. Taking that into account, 2019 member dues have been increased by roughly 15%. If you are among the cohort of members able to support a member dues hike of 20% or 25%, please consider adding $5 or $10 to the donation line when you renew your membership at nemaa.org. It adds up, and it makes a difference.
2019 NEMAA Membership Dues
- Individual Artist: $85
- NEMAA NXT Student K12: $0
- NEMAA NXT Emerging: $35
- Community Friend: $60
- Non-profit (NPO): $100
- Professional Gallery: $140
- Local Business Partner: $250
NEMAA is also reinstating the printed images in the NEMAA Artist Directory for $30 (instead of the previous $25). I spent the better part of an afternoon last week wading deep into the back-end of the website with trusty IT maven Jeremy trying to figure out how to add this option to your member profiles. We’re still figuring it out, but will have something soon. Bear in mind, though, members, when I tell you to choose your image carefully. In order to make the printed directory pleasing to the eye and efficient space-wise, images will be cropped square. It is best to do this beforehand to your own work, wouldn’t you agree?
The deadline to be included in the printed NEMAA directory is February 15, 2019.
Speaking of print, I’m excited by the excellent concept of a NEMAA Directory & Magazine hybrid proposed by Russ White, who will be editing the spring 2019 edition. If you haven’t seen his work on the fall magazine, I recommend you take a look. The publication will blend the utility of the member directory and Art-A-Whirl guide with the thoughtful, creative story-telling of the magazine. There is even a nifty way the two will be physically combined, which you will just have to wait and see for yourselves.
While Russ has envisioned a beautiful, functional, relevant, and long-lived publication, I’ve been busy running cost scenarios and budgeting down to an inch of a page. Within the next day or so the call for advertisers will launch for this publication. Ad rates are more expensive than last year, but we also have the added benefit of publishing online and linking advertisers’ sites, as well as having content that travels well. Both the MSP Airport Foundation and the Mall of America brochure programs have repeatedly requested re-ups of the 2018 magazine. Interested in advertising? Check out the media kit.
I am also putting the finishing touches on NEMAA’s year-end appeal, which will go out digitally instead of by mail this year. NEMAA raised almost $3,000 during Give To The Max, which is double what we normally do. However, that still leaves $7,000 to our goal to match the funds so generously given to us by an anonymous donor back in October.
In order for NEMAA to make it intact to 2020, we still need roughly $55,000. Art-A-Whirl is happening, but currently without amenities such as the trolley, or location signage. The budget still only has staff (me) until June. A large part of my time during the next couple of months will be spent seeking donors and sponsors for NEMAA and Art-A-Whirl, both from within the membership base and without. Onward!
NEMAA Interim Executive Director