Spring fever is upon us all. The desire to jump in the car and visit those locations that the winter snow restricted us from has blossomed like crocus. The pandemic is still in the news and quite honestly still puts limitations on our comfort level.
Most of us want to gather with friends and family and still keep ourselves and them as safe as possible. Many businesses and small shops have suffered greatly during this challenging year and the individual artisans and artists in Washington County, New York are no different. We need to have people once again see our wares and hopefully generate future sales.
Keeping everyone safe is becoming easier but avoiding crowds might still be essential. For that reason, ATWC is considering holding our Countywide Open Studio Event on two weekends in July, 9th-11th and 16th- 18th. It will be a bit more work for the Artisans/Artists but keeping our crowds manageable is so important.
We would appreciate your feedback on extending the event. If you could drop a line or two at firstname.lastname@example.org we would be grateful.
Susan Bayard Whiting
It’s been a hard year. Isolation, financial challenges, and health concerns have been the way of life for most people.
Artisans and Artists as well have been dealing with so many changes including how and IF they can safely share their wares with the public.
We at Artisan Trails in Washington County are hoping to get our signature event off the ground this July. The exact date has not been selected and we will publish the date well in advance.
Renewal of memberships as well as new member registrations are necessary to be included in the event and to be listed on our Trail Map and on our website.
Information about joining ATWC is included on the Join ATWC or Donate link on our website; www.artisan-trails.org .
With the cold February winds blowing tufts of pure white snow from drift to drift we have begun putting together our 2020 Countywide Artisan Trails Tour for this July.
If you have been thinking about getting your ducks in a row for your busy Summer season, now is the time to chip those little chilly ducks out of the pond and start planning. A lot goes into getting ready to have your shop, studio, store or gallery ready for a big event. Our current members are starting to restock their shelves with wares and experimenting with new product ideas. How about you? Want to learn more? The website is being updated regularly so check it out.
One of the first challenges when deciding on registration or membership fees is to make certain that you have research enough others organization fees to make sure you’re not pricing your organization right out of existence.
The second challenge is to provide enough benefit to your members or event participants, so they feel they are supporting a worthwhile organization.
When we were setting up our bylaws the fees were the first obstacle that we undertook with great trepidation. Most of us had participated in many events and festivals to promote our products and all of us belong to multiple organizations that are geared to our interests. With that background we averaged the membership fees that we’ve paid to those organizations bearing in mind what benefits we’ve received.
What kind of benefits and what fees you ask?
1). Most organizations will provide a list of who their members are somewhere on their website or in printed form.
2). Most organizations have a section of their website dedicated to providing links to their members websites, if applicable, and charge an extra fee to be listed there.
3). Organizations that offer festival opportunities have one central location. Often, they are charged a fee to use the location or have large promotional costs associated with the event. The cost to participate in the event can be several hundreds of dollars.
What did we do differently? We decided that, depending on the membership level, we would provide a link on our website to a member’s social media or website at no extra cost. After all, we are trying to promote the artisans/artists who live in Washington County. It doesn’t take forever to set up the links, but it does take time. The person who is loading this information onto ATWC’s website isn’t compensated for doing that work, they do it to add that benefit to members.
Since our signature event is our countywide, self-guided tour “The Trail Map” there is no cost to ATWC associated with the location of this event, since each participant’s location IS the destination. However, and especially for this year’s event, there will be a great deal more cost associated with the promotion than was dedicated last year, as a grassroots effort. There are roadside signs, maps, brochures and both online and print advertising to be bought. Our first Trail Map (which we did as just a heterogeneous group of artisans) we did it on the cheap but not this year! Be are going glossy and professionally created and printed to be disbursed throughout the tri-county region and beyond! Some of last years participants in the countywide event donated to a Giveaway through Manchester Newspaper and by doing so provided ATWC with a generous advertising budget for the self-guided tour this year. For that we are profoundly grateful.
Why ask for donations? There are so many projects that ATWC had planned for and our operating budget is very small right now. We will in the future, be applying for grants but at this point in the year most of the grants have been gobbled up by other very deserving nonprofit groups. We’ll concentrate on those for next year.
For now, we rely on the artisans/artists seeing the benefit of joining our organization and participating in our events, the generous support of the sponsoring community members and the public’s response to our fundraising efforts to help us continue to provide a service to not just support the artisans and artists but to all Washington County residents.
We are now ready to accept your membership into Artisan Trails in Washington County, INC.
This will be our first year as a Non-Profit organization. Our countywide event last year was run entirely by volunteers as a way to gauge the public's reaction to a self guided countywide tour of the artisans and artists in Washington County NY. The response to the event was overwhelming and we look forward to introducing the public to a so many more outstanding artisans who call Washington County home.
Please review our page, Join ATWC to see the different membership levels available. Your membership will allow us to be the link between the public and the artisans by helping to promote the event, fund workshops and future events.
We are in the process of setting up our site with the ability to take donations as well as Membership dues and Registration Fees. We apologize for delay for those who are anxiously awaiting being able to join ATWC. We will put a notice on our FB page when the system is all set up.
In the meantime- If you'd like to complete the Membership Query on the Join ATWC page of this website we will be happy to contact you with more information.