A Message from the Board
It's no secret to any of us that 2020 has been one heck of a year. Given so many things are in a state of upheaval and uncertainty and most of us have largely been unable to go about business as usual, the members of the AABA/ARTScrawl board felt it was the perfect opportunity to take a hard look at the organization and see what we can do for our members going forward.
We have been hard at work all year and after consulting with our pro-bono attorney Jason Marks on how AABA can best grow our membership, keep what we do best, and make it even better, we have some pretty exciting announcements to make!
AABA/ARTScrawl remains ever more committed to promoting the arts in New Mexico and we've made several changes to our organizational structure and added improvements to your membership which we know you are going to love.
Restructuring the AABA as an LLC. (In contrast to our current filing status of a 501(c)(6).) This includes making our members shareholders in the organization with associated voting rights and the potential to receive dividends if the organization finds itself in a position to distribute them.
Lower dues and more flexible restructured membership categories with lots of choice for membership options and benefits to help you make the best choice in membership as it relates to your needs.
A brand new shiny website that can process dues payments online (coming soon!)
Replacement of the monthly ARTScrawl brochure with a beautiful annual gallery guide that will be both online and in print
A new program in partnership with the Collector's Guide to offer you significant advertising discounts. (Timeline for submissions currently tentative due to Covid 19 and pending feedback from The CG)
Amped up social media coverage including Instagram
A new logo and (coming soon) new ARTScrawl banners and decals
Also in the works: A cleared art program to help connect you with the film industry!
We know change can be scary for some. We want to emphasize that overall you will notice very little change where the organizational restructuring is considered. Your membership is still tax deductible. The only impacts on you are positive! We've tried to answer your most likely questions below.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
After looking long and hard at our status as a 501(c)(6), the AABA board came to the conclusion that there were too many restrictions associated with the status and simply not enough benefits. In order to serve our members better, we decided to restructure and become an LLC. What this means for you, is that we can legally do more for you in terms of advertising and the offering of discounts. We are now far better situated to unabashedly cheer you on and offer new advertising options and discount programs! Furthermore, members of LLC can hold the equivalent of shares, can vote and elect board members to oversee operations.
How is my membership different from my previous one? What's new?
Full, Associate, and Basic members can get a dividend back if the organization flourishes and if at the year’s end there is a profit even after advertising expenditures. (We will prioritize spending membership dollars towards promoting our members, but who doesn't love the prospect of a few bucks back?!)
It includes access to new programs, such as discounts with the Collector's Guide and (coming soon) the cleared art program.
What does my membership include?
Membership benefits and dues vary by category. See below (or the membership page when our new site goes live) for details!
Are there any downsides to these changes?
Not that we can see. And, your membership is still tax deductible!
How is voting on important issues related to the organization different?
Your voting privileges are proportional to your stock in the LLC. Full members ($500/yr) receive a full vote (1). Associate ($350/yr) and Basic ($250/yr) members also receive a vote representing their buy-in, so 0.70 and 0.50 of a vote respectively. Votes will still be conducted when the organization makes major changes that effect the membership.
You said I will be a shareholder. Is there a buy-in cost?
Yes, but basically no. There is no additional cost over your regular dues. Your initial capital investment will be included in and equal to your first year's dues.
What's the deal with potential dividends?
One of the most exciting differences for our members is the possibility of receiving a dividend which would thus provide some additional relief from membership costs. As an LLC, the organization will no longer be tax-exempt. The only downside for the organization is that we would be subject to taxation on any profit we make. Because it is not the intention of this organization to be a money-making endeavor, but rather to best represent our member businesses, should we find ourselves in the position of receiving more funds than we have been able to spend (after expenses and on advertising and promotions for our members), those extra dollars will be distributed back to our members in good standing per their proportional membership as related to the whole. This is only applicable to Full, Associate, and Basic members. Artist Partners and One Time ARTScrawl Participants are not shareholders and will not receive dividends.
What is changing in the Bylaws and Code of Ethics?
With the change to an LLC, instead of bylaws, the AABA will be governed by an Operating Agreement, which members sign and which specifies rights and obligations. The AABA Code of Ethics will be incorporated into the agreement.
I am a non-profit organization that has been a member in the past or periodically participated in ARTScrawl. Where do I fit?
The AABA remains committed to the broad promotion of the arts in New Mexico. We continue to welcome non-profit arts organizations and depending on their needs, all levels of membership are open to them. We will also continue to offer in-kind membership in trade. Please inquire! Membership will include inclusion in our new, widely available Gallery Guide. We also continue to offer one-time participation in the ARTScrawl program if regular membership is not for you.
What is the difference between the new Gallery Guide and the monthly ARTScrawl brochure?
We love the brochure, but one of the big issues with doing it monthly is that it is ephemeral. As a result, we wind up throwing away a lot of them, and that is not just environmentally unfriendly, it's just not money well spent. Another big complaint regarding the brochure, is that given its size, we cannot feature imagery from every single one of our members each month. Because we know that many of our venues love having something attractive and tangible to hand their clientele, and in order to try to make sure everyone is represented in an ongoing fashion, we've decided to opt to develop a single, larger printed brochure that will be produced annually. This guide will allow you to put your venue's best face forward and be a reference that your clientele can take home and refer to all year long. The Guide will be distributed to member venues (and possibly to other willing venues) and represent an enduring reference of local arts businesses for both locals and visitors.
The only caveat is that we will need to require members have their memberships paid at the beginning of the year to be a formal part of the guide. For those joining after the date set for participation, we will develop a high-quality insert which will be added to the guide either quarterly or semi-annually depending on need. Don't panic! Deadlines for payments for 2021 will be more flexible given the timing of this announcement. Going forward, payment plans starting in the fall of the year will be available for those that require them.