Art For People - New Organization Dedicated to Unite People of the World Through
September 15, 2001 Washington, DC
Today, the Art For People Founding Board gathered for its first official meeting to discuss the start of operations for this new Performing Arts organization. Art For People is the newest and one of the more innovative organizations to hit the performing scene, emerging at a time when it is more important than ever to find new and creative ways to reach out to our fellow human beings.
One focus of the meeting was on how to stay relevant to the community during a time of bereavement and spiritual recovery. After introductions of the 7 founding board members,
Carl Watts, founder and artistic director, led the group in a moment of silence for the victims of the tragic events of September 11. While the meeting was only a few days after the tragedy, it was felt that it was important to continue with positive and productive activities such as Art For People (AFP), as part of the healing and recovery process. Much discussion was held regarding the possible ways in which AFP could show support for the situation as well as victims families, in an appropriate way. It is clear to the board that the mission and philosophy of AFP - to enhance communication and understanding between people by incorporating art into all our daily lives - makes the work of AFP an important response to the challenge the world faces in combating terrorism. There is no doubt that art plays an important role in our lives during times of turmoil, and AFP hopes to be a leader in that effort.
Watts summarized the vision and mission of the organization as a tri level operation: the performance level as a platform for professional artists, the school as a means to train and nurture young talent and professional artists, and the outreach program which will educate the community in many aspects of the arts, from appreciation, to actual performance skills. All of these levels entertwine and overlap, with a focus on erasing the invisible line between audience and performer. The three disciplines of performing arts - music, dance and theater, will be the core of the education program.
An important and immediate next step is to make the web site more interactive so that it serves as a central point of communication, and that visitors to the web site will want to return. The web site will be the organizations central marketing tool, as well as the pivot for internal organization communications. AFP also intends to have a sponsor page on the website so corporations can get recognition and may be encouraged to advertise on the web site. Testimonials also will be put on the web site, in which Board members and volunteers will explain why he/she became involved.
The concept for the first outreach program was introduced by Cynthia Wimmer, AFP board secretary. She described a program in New York City in which theater professionals take high school students to professional theater performances and then discuss the performances. There is a potential for Art For People to conduct this program in Washington, DC, and beyond. The role of Art for People would be to raise money for tickets and identify/coordinate the volunteer theater professionals. The program could also be expanded to include dance and music performances, and serve adults, as well as high school students.
Other plans discussed included advertising/promotion/public relations activities, future staffing, funding and fundraising efforts. AFP's 501 3(C) tax exempt status and fundraising ideas were put forward. Immediate plans including creating alliances and recruiting influential members of the community as board members, friends and supporters of the budding organization. The draft budget for the first year of operation for Art for People also was reviewed.
The next board meeting is scheduled for October 20, 2002. If anyone has comments or ideas to present to the board, they are asked to contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Art For People is a performing arts organization dedicated to melding high quality performance and community outreach, with the mission of developing and nurturing the artist within all of us, in order to enhance each of our lives, our relationships, and the community in which we live.