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Many of the problems of the Art League are self impossed. They took all the money given to them to build a huge building without setting aside any to pay the day to day costs. They tried to "keep up with the Jones's" by having fancy fund raisers when smaller, cheaper to run fund raisers had been very successful in the past. They limited the kind of classes being held to pretty much only fine arts at the expense of crafts which had been widely received in the past. They cut back on member shows, pretty much replaced volunteers with paid staff and raised the rates to join, which they now admit may have cost them members. Now they are talking about assessment of the same amount, $95, to current members. That sounds like a pretty sure fire way to get a huge drop off in membership. Whose going to join with that possibility hanging over their head? Mr. Rice's comment that he "never lost a good one" when people fell by the wayside is way off base. I am a former board member, Fine Arts committee member, coordinator of a Fine Arts Show, ran the gift shop for several years (all with the help of volunteers of course) and to say I am "not a good one" because I no longer wished to participate in a League that I no longer recongnized is highly insulting to me and others like me who were a huge part of the League's many years of success. The economy is surely a part of the current problem but it is far from the only, or even main, reason.
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