Dear Members and Patrons,
I am so pleased to finally be able to share our new location and plans with you. It's been quite hard to keep such a big secret for so long, but today we can finally share this news with you.
First though, I want you all to know the great amount of careful thought and consideration that was put into this decision. Starting last year, AAWS began looking into new locations that would not only allow the organization to survive, but to thrive!
As we considered our future, membership concerns and needs played a key role in "arriving" at our new location.
Many of you were concerned that when we leave our 4th Street gallery that we would not have such a lovely home. We certainly do in our new location.
Gallery Hours- Our mission at AAWS is to have artwork shown! Due to budget, our current gallery is only open and available to the public 22 hours a week. Our new base is open and accessible 67 hours a week, Monday through Friday from 9:00am-9:00pm and Saturday 9:00am-4:00pm!
Affordability- As you know, our current facilities expenses are over $43,000 per year, just to open the doors and turn on the lights. Our new location will be more budget friendly. This is crucial, since in this economy art sales and general donations have dropped, while government based grant funding is declining.
Maintaining a high profile- Many were worried that we would lose visibility at any new location. With our new plan, we will not only maintain visibility, we will gain it. Our new facility draws in hundreds of arts patrons a month, and your art will be seen by a much wider audience.
Parking- For years we have had complaints about the parking to attend events and drop off art for exhibitions. At our new headquarters, parking will be simple and convenient. There is also a drop-off zone for guests, as well as unloading and loading art.
With these and other factors in mind, I would now like to share with you that as of July 1, our new office will be in the premiere arts location in the City of Arts and Innovation, The Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts! There, we will hold four exhibitions a year at the beautiful Womble Carlyle Gallery and manage the gallery on behalf of The Arts Council for the remainder of the year. Another exciting aspect of this plan, is that since we will no longer be tied down to our 4th Street gallery, we can hold other exhibitions around the city. AAWS can rent space in the Downtown Arts District for shows to be held there, building on a relationship with the passionate artists and patrons that call that the arts district home. All in all, we will hold at least six exhibitions a year at both at The Womble Carlyle Gallery and other locations to be determined.
Although it will be a year of change, it will be very positive change that will attract new members, patrons and supporters, and will allow AAWS to grow more fiscally sound. We must be a self-reliant organization, and we must be able to operate within our budget. This plan will improve our financial viability and help lead us to future success. There are other final details that will be worked out, so we will keep you informed just as soon as those decisions are made. I do ask for your patience and your loyalty throughout this transition into a new business model. Everything that we are doing, we are doing for the members to ensure that this 56 year old group thrives for another 56 years and beyond! As always, my door will be open to you to share your feedback and I encourage all of our members to become more engaged in our wonderful organization.
Best regards to all, Piers Clarkson
New Contact Information, Effective July 1, 2012
Associated Artists of Winston-Salem
The Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts
251 North Spruce Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Phone: (336) 747-1463