Executive Director's Report

What do we want to be when we grow up? The Florida Craftsmen Board and selected sub-committees will be looking very closely at this question as we move closer to owning our own building and begin an exciting year of 50th Anniversary celebrations. What are our future goals? How can members across the state - artists, teachers, collectors, supporters, and appreciators - be best served in the coming years? What programs, projects or products do we already offer to generate earned income, and how can we creatively think about the quality and quantity of existing programs in order to address our future needs? How can we reach out to younger generations? How can we increase staff? In five years, what do we envision as the core operation within our statewide facility? These are some of the questions we will be addressing. Almost everyone involved in these sessions will be participating on a volunteer basis because they would like to contribute their input toward a vision for Florida Craftsmen's future. As a member, your opinions are equally as valuable. You are welcome to email me or send your notes, comments, ideas and opinions to my attention. Florida Craftsmen is a statewide service organization and every opinion and idea will be evaluated equally in redefining our goals and dreams for the future of the organization.

I am very proud to announce that Florida Craftsmen was selected as one of six arts organizations in the State of Florida to attend two Advanced Training Programs in marketing sponsored by NAMP, the National Arts Marketing Project, funded through American Express. Gallery Director Lorissa Hallenbeck and I just returned from the first session in Chicago armed with tools to begin a comprehensive marketing plan. We return to Chicago in one month to evaluate our outlines and continue to learn more about effective marketing strategies and opportunities for non-profit arts organizations. It has already been an incredible experience. As a result of this planning, many people will be involved in the process. As members you may be receiving a survey, which addresses many of the questions I have posed above, and I am hopeful that the vast majority of you will take a few moments to fill out and return the surveys to us as soon as possible. We will also be conducting a second survey in the gallery directed to our customers. I'll say it again.. you are important to us and your opinions DO matter!

Our capital Campaign efforts have been focused in recent months on what individual artists have wanted to give in support of Florida Craftsmen's future. My deepest gratitude goes out to the hundreds of artists -locally, regionally and nationally - that have generously contributed their time, talent and beautiful artwork to make the Collector's Auction and now the Gimme Shelter Exhibition so successful in raising dollars directly benefiting the campaign. Your efforts are heartfelt beyond any words I can describe.

The March newsletter is filled with activity. We have been very busy and hope that you will take advantage of an upcoming exhibition, fundraiser or workshop. Please also consider becoming involved in a more direct way, as we begin to fill new Board of Director positions for the coming year locally and across the state, and also form visioning committees. And we can always use extra hands, heads and hearts as volunteers in the gallery and our office operations. But most of all, please share your enthusiasm for Florida Craftsmen with others. An annual membership or workshop becomes a very thoughtful gift that could possibly change someone's life through a wonderful, new creative experience.

I applaud every individual effort that truly contributes to the whole of the success of Florida Craftsmen. Wow! Just think about it.... 50 YEARS! Thank you for feeding my soul and my spirits as we begin a new journey toward the next fifty!

Email: [email protected]

- Michele Tuegel