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Proposal For a Wisconsin Regional Art Society, Or WRAS

by Gary John Gresl

Mission: WRAS is an organization of citizens engaged in the study of Wisconsin and Regional visual art, historical and contemporary, with the purpose of promoting understanding, education and dissemination of our region's cultural wealth.
Organization and procedures:
1. There shall be periodic meetings of members, with someone designated as the "Facilitator" for each meeting. This Facilitator(s) shall see to it that a meeting place is secured and a program readied. This person(s) shall be selected at a preceding meeting when there is consensus within the group of a topic(s) and activity(ies) that the Facilitator shall prepare.
2. The Facilitator may engage the help of any number of WRAS members, or other trusted persons, in whatever roles are required to accomplish the tasks of locating a meeting place, setting a meeting day and time, planning a program and seeing to its creation.

3. The Facilitator shall also see that WRAS members are notified of the forthcoming meeting day, time, topic, directions, and any other pertinent information. The Facilitator may elect to do this on his/her own, or find someone else to do it via phone, mail or email. Therefore, a membership roster must be devised for communication.
4. The organization "might" elect to create titled positions, such as Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Program Chair, etc., whatever is needed to accomplish a smooth functioning of the organization and its mission. This decision may occur at any time there is consensus to do so, with determination of rights, privileges and duties of officers and members then also being determined. However, it is entirely possible for such an organization to function smoothly without establishing such titles and roles, as long as responsible people are engaged.

5. Topics and Activities:
a. Member Presenters: members having particular know-
ledge, or members who are willing to research a topic,
may present their research, exhibit examples of artist
work, open their homes or collections, and otherwise
present a program in whatever manner most appropriate
for the presenter's abilities and desires.
b. Non-member Presenters: knowledgeable persons in any
particular field may be engaged to present programs about
which they have particular qualifications. These might be:
+ persons who have researched or are expert in a subject of
interest, for example persons knowledgeable about artists,
movements, styles, collections, research, events, environments,
history, museums, and any topic of interest related to the region's arts.
+ an artist discussing his/her work or the work of others
+ a representative of any appropriate institution or organization
+ any topic that may enrich and edify members, thereby broadening their
understanding and appreciation of visual art.
c. Field trips may be arranged taking members to places
at which programs shall be presented, collections or
exhibits viewed, historical sites observed, etc.
d. The organization may arrange for execution of press releases
and other public notices, and publications by appropriate means.
e. The "publication" of the group's activities executed by any useful
means, such as Internet and/or website, hard copy reports, news releases
distributed to other interested persons and institutions, or newsletters.
These may be produced for sale or provided by free distribution, to benefit
WRAS or selected beneficiaries, such as a museum or institution, group or
individual(s) which are deemed worthy by a consensus of the membership.

f. Fund raising activities may be held which might facilitate the
functioning and needs of programs for WRAS, and/or that could be beneficial to designated museums, institutions, groups or individuals for
purposes such as humanitarian, education, research, program, operating expenses, etc.

g. WRAS members may privately engage in trade, sale or exchange of
material and art work that might be mutually beneficial and agreeable to said members, these transactions and activities being separate from the official programs of WRAS. However, certain officially designated representatives of WRAS might serve as aides or facilitators in such transactions, acting as disinterested and financially uninvolved participants retaining status as an honest broker.

h. It may be to the interest and benefit of WRAS to sell and/or conduct the sale of art or other materials as a fund raising technique for the organization itself. These materials may be donated to WRAS, or WRAS might act as a broker receiving a commission due to such sales.

i. It is possible that there may be sufficient numbers of members having
particular or specialized interests within the realm of regional art that it
might be useful to create specific subgroups within the WRAC.

6. Standards: It shall always be the goal of the organization and its individual members to maintain high standards of conduct and operation, there being a quest for what might be determined as a “professional” level.

a. Meetings shall be conducted under Roberts Rules of Order.
b. Respect for individuals and organizations, and diversity of opinion shall be exhibited at all times.
c. Persons reported to be conducting themselves in a manner unbefitting the goals and conduct of WRAS shall be interviewed by a selected committee of WRAS members, and if it is determined that the person in question has acted in a manner harmful to the reputation of WRAS, that person may be asked to correct or amend the questioned action(s) or activity(ies), or to resign from membership in the organization.

SOME POTENTIAL ACTIVITIES FOR WRAS MEETINGS

Invite artists to present their own history, philosophy, and vita.
View existing videos/films about artists or art subjects.
Discuss mediums, techniques, themes, movements related to our region.
Have presented monographs, papers, visual research by members or invited guest presenters.
Study regional art from other parts of the US that can aid in putting our own into perspective.
Visit related collections, public and private.
Organize public forums with speakers and subjects open to the general public.
Act as a sponsor and/or supporter for museums and organizations having missions that relate to regional art expression and exhibition, including offering gifts of cash or art to such institutions.
Publish research, discoveries and activities via Internet and/or hard copy.

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