What if?

by Vergi Driscoll

Busy people take on more jobs and responsibilities. They do much more than should be expected, but they do it. They rise to the challenge. They are inspired to give back to others. If you take a good look at volunteer organizations, this is true. Some people just see the work that needs to be done and feel committed to do their share and help. That is life in volunteer organizations. That is life in WP&S/WAAM, also.

What if this changed? What if all people, in this case artists, decided that they wanted the best organization possible that would help make them, their work, and their organization more visible, more respected, and more prosperous. What would this take? How would it look? Who would be the players and the shakers in this organization? How does one get everyone or many to take a piece of the pie and run with it?

What if Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors, Inc and Artists in All Media became the most progressive organization around with the most active artists as movers and shakers? Yes, and artists still having a lot of quality time to spend in their studios. Organizations cannot just be maintained, they must grow and evolve. Visionary artists are needed to move WP&S/WAAM forward continually. Artists working together to get new venues, new shows of quality, getting businesses to support the artists, developing programs to highlight the visual artists, encouraging galleries to support Wisconsin artists, etc.

What if expectations changed? What if WP&S required every member to do one or two things for the organization each year such as attending at least one meeting, serving on one committee, using graphic design and computer skills to help with brochures and web design, enlisting at least one member yearly, encouraging a young artist to join the organization, donating time to promote artists in the community, brainstorming and coming up with new ideas for shows/programs, finding someone to donate funds to the Endowment, finding funding for awards for exhibitions, demonstrating your art process to your chapter, speaking to a school PTA about the necessity of art in a students life, etc?

What if the leadership of a chapter was made up of individuals working as teams, serving on small and large committees doing the work of the organization efficiently and making it easier for everyone? A chair or an officer does not make up the organization nor should they do all the work. Everyone doing a little. Everyone chipping in. Everyone working for THEIR ORGANIZATION. Active membership gives ownership in the organization. Active membership makes an organization stronger. Many voices! Many ideas!

When one becomes involved in the organization, there are so many advantages that far exceed the work such as making contacts with other artists, arts organizations, galleries, and those who make up the art world. Monthly programs at our chapter after the meeting features artists and their works. What a wonderful opportunity to see and hear about the work from artists we admire. What a great learning experience!

Being an artist has to extend beyond the studio. It is a way of life. It means that if we want to be successful we also have to help make our organization as strong as it can be.
The mind, body and spirit work together. We use that when we create. We also use that when we help others.

The WP&S/WAAM throughout the state has wonderful programs headed by outstanding leaders in this state. You know their names. You know their work. They have made the big commitment and they are also wonderful artists. What if they didnít do this? How would that affect you? How would that affect Wisconsin artists? What would become of WP&S/WAAM?

Your WP&S chapter needs YOU! Is it time for you to take the challenge? What ifÖ..
YOU took a small piece of the pie?

Thanks for considering your responsibilities to this wonderful organization!