Posts Tagged ‘art organization’

A Workshop for Advocating Your Mission

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Illiana Artists opening reception 2001.

Illiana Artists Opening Reception 2001.


An effective leader must understand the infrastructure of the group they are to lead. In order to gain a greater understanding of non-profit operations, this afternoon I attended an informative workshop presented by Lucinda Nord, VP, Public Policy of the Indiana Association of United Ways. The majority of attendees represented human service agencies that were in need of federal funding for their operations. The Illiana Artists, on the other hand, are a creative service group that generates funds from membership dues and exhibitor fees collected from art showings.

Sitting in on the workshop I realized our small art organization was not as complex as those for which my fellow learners had come to represent. My time spent at the workshop was not wasted as I learned the rules of lobbying for a specific cause and how to create a neutral environment within the organization when defining the lines of non-partisan activities. The guest speaker provided the workshop attendees with an abundance of information to stock pile their toolboxes and get to work on their next non-profit mission.

As I looked around the room, I saw people of all demographics, some of whom where involved in politics, and thought to myself, “I must be the novice among this crowd.” The speaker asked the attendees to stand up and set themselves in place at various points within the room to gage the comfort levels of the participants in advocating their mission. To my surprise, I stood among three individual in the front of the line representing those of us willing to go the distance to promote our cause. I realized at that moment I was more than just stubborn or hardheaded. In fact, I am confident and ready to reshape the events of the year ahead.

Although I will not be lobbying on behalf of the Illiana Artists to fulfill the immediate needs of the organization, today’s journey was a day worth spent as I met new people and reconnected with old friends and colleagues among the group. In the end, I am glad I did not take to heart a recommendation for browsing the library and, as a result, would have missed the engaging, learning opportunities the workshop had provided to me on this day.