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Letter from the Board – June 2020

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A Letter from SNAG’s Board of Directors

Dear members, sponsors, friends and colleagues,

As an organization whose mission is to foster community, SNAG believes that Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with black, indigenous, people of color, LGBTQI, and all underrepresented communities in the fight for racial justice and equality.

SNAG acknowledges that expressions of solidarity are insufficient without action. We want to not only state our support, but also ask our friends and supporters to step forward with us.

As a board, we commit to increasing the diversity of the voices that guide this organization and participate in our programming. In 2017, SNAG developed a written policy on diversity, equity and inclusion because we recognized that these values are integral to fulfilling our organizational mission and vision and would help to guide our way forward.

This policy is not meant to stand in place of action, or absolve us from doing the work necessary to create a more inclusive and equitable organization. Some of that work was invested in developing a new programming model for the now canceled 49th annual conference. Though we were not able to gather face to face, it feels more urgent than ever that we engage in conversations that move toward a more equitable future for both SNAG and our individual communities.

As allies our first job is to listen and ask how we can lend support in the fight to end racial bias and systemic injustice. We will announce dates and details soon for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Dialogues that will take place as part of our In Conversation Series, we hope you will join us.

These are only small steps in what we recognize is a long journey. We are committed to accountability, listening, learning, and working together toward a more just and equitable future, both in our communities and our organization.

To provide space for the voices of those calling for justice now, we are rescheduling the J. Fred Woell Movie Nights and Panel Discussion originally planned for this week. The movies will now be available June 25 and 27 with a live Q & A on June 28th.

Sincerely,

SNAG Board of Directors

 

 


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J. Fred Woell: An American Vision

The SNAG Board is pleased to present this feature documentary by Richard Kane about the history and significance of J. Fred Woell, a metalsmith, jeweler and political artist. Woell made satirical commentary on the dark side of history. Woell had profound beliefs in our democratic ideals yet saw the flaws in our politics. An inspiring, humble and humorous artist and teacher, Woell opened the door to seeing anew. Originally scheduled to be shown at the SNAG conference, this documentary will be available online for limited screening and will be free to all SNAG members. Please also join us for a panel discussion and Q&A with the filmmaker Richard Kane, Woell’s wife Patricia Wheeler and metalsmith Eleanor Moty.

Online Screenings – June 25th and 27th
Information on how to view the film has been emailed to members. If you have not received this information please contact us.

Panel Discussion | Q&A – June 28th at 4:00 pm Eastern
Panelists: Richard Kane (filmmaker), Patricia Wheeler (Woell’s wife), Eleanor Moty (metalsmith) and Moderated by Nicole Jacquard.
Zoom link has been emailed to members. If you have not received this information please contact us.

DVDs of Documentary
Copies are available for purchase at SNAG//SPACE for Institutional use, Library use and Personal/Home use.

Handouts from the 20th Century
A Collection of Teaching Aids Created and/or Gathered by J. Fred Woell During his 20 Years of Teaching are also available to purchase at SNAG//SPACE.


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Annual Membership Meeting

SNAG’s Membership Meeting, normally held in person during the annual conference, will now be a virtual meeting on Saturday, August 29th, 2020 at 6:00 pm Eastern. Additional details will be posted here and sent out to the membership soon.

Online voting will take place in August. Voting information will be available here and will also be sent out to the membership starting late June.

We look forward to seeing our members virtually this summer!


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Halstead Design Challenge: CONNECTION

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The 2020 Halstead Design Challenge online exhibition and sale is here!

The theme for the 2020 challenge, CONNECTION, was inspired by the city of Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love.

Be sure to check out the amazing creations. All purchases support the makers and SNAG.

Thank you to Halstead for partnering with SNAG on this annual event.


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Letter from the President – May 2020

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Dear SNAG Members,

It’s the end of May. This past weekend would have been our conference. In a normal world, we would be in Philadelphia wrapping up our 50th-anniversary celebrations and experiencing the fantastic face-to-face community event that our hard-working staff and volunteers put together.

Sadly, this is not a normal world. Like so many arts non-profits, SNAG had its ongoing financial struggles. The conference was such a large part of our budget that the annual success of the organization was very much beholden to the success of the conference. The Executive Director and the Board all understood that having to cancel about 60 days out would be catastrophic. For the organization to continue, major financial cuts would have to occur. A budget was created by the Executive Director and presented to the Board’s Executive Committee via email on April 12. After discussion, the budget was taken to the full Board for a vote on April 23. The budget, which included eliminating the ED position along with staff and programming cuts, was unanimously accepted. At that point, the Board began to consider the various programming options to keep SNAG open.

With the mounting costs of refunds and the day-to-day cost of operation, further cuts were required. Having to let go of hardworking dedicated SNAG staff has affected me deeply. These are individuals who have worked hard for this organization, and they are people I greatly respect.

Since that time, the Board has been working to find a way to keep the organization moving forward. We have consulted a number of professional voices offering different perspectives on how to create a new, more financially viable model for SNAG. They have presented a range of possibilities that we have been discussing.

Sustainability for the future of SNAG was our original goal for 2020. But the acceleration of change, maintaining the organization, and finding a path forward has not come without significant stress. Doing all of this has put a strain on my professional obligations, affected my family considerably, and negatively altered my personal well-being. As a result, I will not be able to continue as president of SNAG. I am appointing Kat Cole as Interim President with the Board’s approval, to finish my term until an election can take place for a new President. Kat is a celebrated jewelry artist and has been a vital member of the board since 2015. She is taking on the Presidency under unprecedented circumstances and I have every confidence in her ability to lead then board with fresh eyes towards a new future.

The foundation has been set and the board, staff, and members all want to see this historic organization thrive. Consider the things that you value about SNAG? Think about how the whole community can step up and continue the mission of inspiring creativity, encouraging education, fostering community, and finding new ways to collaborate and work together.

Sincerely,
Brian Ferrell