Thank you members of ACNV! 2014 was the beginning of a new strategy to enhance services and we are proud to say that membership has increased over 20% in the past twelve months!

January 2014 Arts Mixer @ Jessup Cellars. Image by Carol Troy.

“Napa County is blessed with a bounty of artists in a variety of skills, which is great for us who live here, but sometimes overwhelming for those who visit. The coordination and promotion the Arts Council provides is a fantastic portal for everyone to have access to this bounty of talent.” – ACNV Member, 2014

Thank you members of ACNV! 2014 was the beginning of a new strategy to enhance services and we are proud to say that, as a result, membership has increased over 20% in the past twelve months!  With a lot of changes this past year, we thought it would be nice to provide you with a short overview of all that has been happened, all that’s offered and what you have to look forward to in 2015.  You can also read a bit about our general activities and accomplishments in our 2014 end of year post.

Jordan Stanton has been on board with ACNV in the new part-time Membership Coordinator role since last December when she began with reaching out to current members to evaluate our protocols and services.  The the ultimate aim of our new program being to improve your membership benefits and our effectiveness as a countywide voice for the arts.  Through our conversations with you, we have learned a lot about our strengths and a number of areas where we can improve.  We heard that connectivity within the arts and to ACNV, professional opportunities, relevant industry news, business/donor development, and marketing were at the top of your lists for what members need most.

One of the exciting additions to our membership benefits has been the launch of our new website, which features an easier way to access professional opportunities (like grants, competitions, and artist calls), and the start of the Napa Valley Creative Directory, which is now only second to our homepage in traffic.  Also working with Nixie Creative Agency, we re-designed our monthly Arts Crush Insider to be the twice monthly Insider with an easier to skim design and more targeted information highlighting the latest opportunities and news.  The standard Arts Crush enews, which reaches over 1,700 local arts lovers, also grew to twice a month and now features alternating profiles of Creative Directory and organization members.  Throughout the year, we continued with our quarterly Arts Mixers, hosting events at Jessup Cellars in Yountville, Sterling Vineyards in Calistoga, and the Embassy Suites in Napa.

In the aftermath of the South Napa Earthquake, ACNV took lead as the central communication hub for the arts.  We immediately reached out to those in proximity of disaster and our team developed a series of eblasts, social  to help flow critical information to you and from you to the community. Through the generosity of donors, volunteers, fellow local artists (NBC Pottery and Calistoga Pottery) as well as Starbucks, were able to deliver some nearly three-dozen packages to those who were most impacted.  But what was most touching was that many of our members, despite their own hardships and loss, immediately asked how they could help and reach out to others who were more deeply impacted.  We heard it time and again, “It’s only stuff.  We are so lucky.” immediately followed by “How is everyone else? How can I help?”.  It only goes to show the true value of community and the character of our relationships in the arts.  

In late 2014, we hosted several Arts Town Halls, one in partnership with Lucky Penny Productions to discuss their new Community Arts Center and another two with Celebrate! Napa Valley (Napa County Fair) to get your input on the vision for the new closing event to Napa Valley Arts in April.  The guidelines and application for which will be available this month!  And remember, even if you weren’t able to attend the November Arts in April workshop, you can read our post for information on the new guidelines, key dates, tips & more.  As an ACNV member you get a 50% discount on your participation fee (normally $250).  It’s not too late to sign up for 2015 Arts in April!

And with 2015 just a few days away, we’re excited to be able to tell you a little about what lays ahead.  We will continue to heed your advice in improving: the website as a resource, the Creative Directory through business connections and enhanced advertising, more partners for Arts Town Halls, and networking opportunities with four more Arts Mixers.  In addition, we are looking forward to unveiling an all new workshop series for individuals as well as organizations, focusing on professional learning opportunities and topical socio-political issues.  We are designing a minimum of three for 2015 which will be presented in partnership with relevant experts at a discounted, low or no cost events for members.  Lastly, and certainly not least, you will shortly receive a save the date for the first local State of the Arts conference in early 2015!  This conference will cover a wide overview of the local environment for the arts our reveal our new three-year strategic plan to lead the way in advocating for the arts.  You will learn about issues that impact you in community development, politics, arts marketing strategies, public education, and news from major partners and initiatives.  So please keep an eye out for this!

Like we said, there is much to look forward to!  And again, it’s been a wonderful year with lots of new and exciting changes.  We can’t wait to tackle 2015 with you and continue to create a vibrant healthy creative Napa County.

Have a happy inspirational new year!