It has been awhile since the last communication, but the time is overdue to update you on recent activities and to get the wheels moving again to advance the arts and culture industry in Chatham County.
Advisory Council Wanted
In short, ACACC needs to assemble an advisory council. There are activities to plan for the betterment of the entire arts and culture industry, but it takes a team.
If anyone is interested in supporting ACACC through service, please contact me at email@example.com.
Your help is needed to identify what is next for ACACC. Personally, I believe the general coffee hours were beneficial to get the proverbial ball rolling, but it is now time to get down to business.
If you would, please complete a short survey helping ACACC to plot a course and determine what the future holds.
Governance Workshop (Updated)
On Friday, March 2 at Carnegie Library (537 East Henry Street), the Arts and Culture Alliance of Chatham County will hold its first in a series of workshops dedicated to strengthening the long-term sustainability of Chatham County’s arts and culture organizations.
The two-hour workshop dedicated to governance is designed to help support a not-for-profit’s operational foundation. The workshop is free and is open to current and prospective board members as well as the leadership of any area arts and culture organization. To reserve a seat, visit www.chathamartsandculture.com / Events & Workshops. Seating is limited to 20 participants.
The workshop will discuss the role and importance of proper governance, present best governance practices, and assist with conducting an internal governance audit. Topics addressed are the fiduciary duty of board members, board recruitment, orientation, and training, organizational transparency, succession planning, and questions board members should be asking to secure the long-term sustainability and prosperity of their organization.
In December, proposed funding cuts by the City of Savannah’s City Manager were not accepted by the Mayor and City Council. Two line items related to arts and culture were originally zeroed out, i.e., Cultural Contributions and a sizable appropriation to the Savannah History Museum. The status of the Savannah History Museum appropriation is unknown because the approved 2018 budget has yet to be published, but we know the Cultural Contributions were indeed reinstated. Thank you all for speaking out against these cuts.
Also, while the application for the Cultural Arts and Investment Program was overwhelming for many, a few local organizations did apply, and the majority received some funds to further their mission and to provide their programming to the Savannah community. You can find a list of all recipients at the Cultural Affairs website.
This year will continue to be an uphill battle convincing the City of Savannah that their investment in arts and culture is indeed a good one and on par with other investments. What was recently disturbing news is the City Manager’s recent op-ed piece in response to Tara Feis not receiving City funding. He stated, “The City of Savannah has gotten out of the festival production business, choosing instead to work with partners to grow Savannah’s festivals into viable, self-sufficient operations.” What is troubling is the notion that not-for-profits are to be self-sufficient especially given they are originally formed to be a public-private partnership to improve the overall quality of life of those they serve. This type of comment is not the first time this had come up and dated back to December 2016 when our City Manager first attempted to cut arts and culture funding. It will be something to monitor, regardless.
Late November 2017, after numerous attempts to discuss the role of arts and culture in the County’s public policy decision making, it was communicated to come back in February when they begin to discuss the budget. It is important to note that the original question was simply where does arts and culture stand with their overall plan. It is February now, so attempts to get a definitive answer will continue. I will keep you updated as to the progress.
You will find on ACACC’s website everything that has happened, to date. I do have a firm commitment to transparency. Posted there are all prior updates, transcripts from City Council meetings, etc., for those that want to get caught up in what ACACC is all about.
Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-689-0620 if you have any questions.
Finally, please consider forwarding or otherwise share this communication with your network and be sure to continue following day-to-day activities through social media. Only with strength in numbers can rhetoric be turned into action.