I’ve noticed lately that participation in YWA events has dropped off…dramatically!
Last week at the plein air outing, only 5 artists showed up (including myself) and one of them was a new-comer. At the Friday live model sessions, of late, so few members turn out, that we struggle to pay the model fee. And at the October artist demo, only 8 members appeared (and this was to see Dennis Lewis, one of the finest painters, teachers and entertaining presenters in the area).
Not sure of the reason for this: the passion for creating art fading across the membership, unhappiness with the programs presented or just the coincidence of a large part of the membership being busy, at the same time, with other, more important things. It may be that this is only a temporary situation. I certainly hope so. In any case, no matter what the reason, if turn-out continues to dwindle the outcome will be the same.
Groups like the YWA come together because a group of individuals with common interests and the initiative to get things done, sees benefit in organizing. In our case benefits like pooling funds to hire a live model or paying for artists of interest to travel and present what they do. Membership in an organization, once it’s begun, carries a responsibility to participate. Without participation, it becomes impossible to carryout the activities for which the organization was created in the first place.
While it’s unrealistic to expect the entire membership to show up for each and every YWA event, if like myself, you want to see the YWA continue as an entity, I encourage you to get out and participate in our organization’s events. I’m sure we can all make one event a month: the monthly plein air outing or one of the Friday live model sessions. Doing so will send a message you care, YWA still holds value for you and that you want the organization to continue.
If you’re unhappy with the YWA or its programs, I encourage you to make your suggestions known to the board. The YWA only makes sense if it’s providing what the membership wants it to provide. After all, you ARE the YWA!
I’m a fairly new member of the group, having only learned about and joined the organization in 2013. I wish I’d known about the YWA earlier. I truly appreciate the convenience of having a live model to work from close by every Friday and have enjoyed meeting and painting alongside the other artists in the creative community here. Honestly, my passion for painting and drawing would have me traveling to Fresno, Madera, Merced or farther, if necessary, to ‘feed my Jones.’ Selfishly, though, I want to see the group continue and thrive, here, but I’m afraid it can’t and won’t without strong continuous membership support.
For that reason I encourage you all to participate, participate and participate and bring along a friend to do the same!