Straight From The Source: Interview With The Membership Department

Ashley Knowles: In your own words, why is Membership important to an institution like the NAGB?

Nastassi Pratt: Membership is important to an institution like the NAGB because like
many museums and galleries, we are a non-profit institution. Our name is a bit
misleading because we’re really a museum, and any funds we need to keep
exhibitions going and programming available for the public is heavily funded by the public.

Averia Wright: Membership is a direct means of support whereas visitation, admissions
and donations do not cover the day-to-day running of a museum. Workshops,
public programming and community and regional projects, partnerships and arts
education all heavily rely on the funds from membership. Another thing that
membership does is gives the public a chance to become more involved with the
institution and affords them special benefits that add to their experience, and
being apart of that museum’s community.

AK: What have you done in
the past to increase Membership?

NP: We really
took the helm of the Membership Program in September of last year (2011) so all
initiatives have been fairly recent. The entire look and feel of membership was
revamped. Additionally, we added a few more incentives and benefits for members
within our packages. We felt that this was important to really make members
feel and know that they’re getting their monies worth. But most importantly, we
really wanted to push with the language in our promotional material that
Membership is really about being a part of something big and worthwhile. And
the NAGB is just that, a great institution that’s worth supporting.

AK:Why did you choose to do a fair?
How have you envisioned it?

NP: Averia
and I were in one of our meetings (and we had quite a few of those in our early
days) and we were brainstorming ways to shake up Membership in a positive way.
Averia suggested a fair. I asked if she was insane. She convinced me that we could
do it and I convinced myself that we’d see the first miracle on the NAGB
grounds. And hence we have the first annual Membership Drive Fair 2012.The moral of
the story? Never have brainstorming meetings with Averia after lunch.

AW: We chose
to do a fair to take on a different vibe at the gallery we are usually having
events in the evening where guest are wined and dined which is all well and
good. But we wanted to create an atmosphere of fun and family and allow all to
become a part of our fun family. By doing this we open up the gallery to
persons of all walks of life and show people as prestigious as this building
the Villa Doyle is still belongs to all of us and we are here to enjoy it.

AK:What can people expect at the

Everything! It’s going to be a great time with great games, fun times and food!

AW: Being
our first annual membership drive fair people can expect a fun, art centric
family fair meaning that with our games like the hoopla table and the go fish
board prizes will be targeted towards artists. We will have Robin Hardy, a wood
turner and carver, demonstrating his craft making pens that you can learn to
make yourself and purchase. Caricature artist, Matthew Wildgoose, will be there.
We will definitely have all the things you would expect at a fair as well, a Bouncing
Castle, Face Painting, and lots of Food.

AK:What are some of your favourite
highlights for the fair?

AW: My
favorite highlights would have to be a recent donation from Something’s Different, and Doongalik Studios Art Gallery, which I thought, is so great.
Something’s Different is offering a free cupcake to the first 50 persons that
sign up for membership and Doongalik is offering some of Dear Heart’s World
Famous Iced Tea, which I both love. The support from the community is deeply appreciated.

AK:What are you looking forward to
the most with the fair?

NP: Seeing happy people enjoying
our grounds and our gallery.

AW: The big
highlight, which I didn’t mention before, is the Art Raffle. I wish I could
participate, but the two artists Toby Lunn and Jessica Colebrooke sent in two
amazing pieces, which I wish, I could take home with me!

AK:Tips for individuals trying to
organize their own fair or large scale event?

NP: Don’t do it! Just kidding.
Mostly. Well, the earlier you start planning your fair the better. And get your
volunteers on board as soon as you can. Then sponsors, start hounding persons
and companies as soon as the stamp of approval is made for the fair/event to
happen. Even earlier, before the ink dries.

AW: Organize
and Plan ahead, I promise it would make a huge difference!

AK:Can you name a funny moment when
organizing the fair?

NP: Well,
that’s tricky since my sense of humor can be warped at times. But it was
interesting going to the toy store to pick out our goodies for the Hoopla Table
and the Go-Fish booth. I was accused by my coworkers (namely Averia and Jordia)
of picking too many boyish toys like mini rubber animals and reptiles. So we
dumped my selections. Then a minute later Jorida comes walking down the isle
with two big, western rifles and a truck-load of water guns! I guess the gender
stereotypes with toys have changed A LOT since I was a kid…

AK:Can you sum up the fair in one

NP: Awesome!


The Membership Drive Fair 2012 takes place this Saturday, July 28th, 2012 from 11AM to 5PM. See you there! For further information on donating, Membership T-Shirts, participation and volunteering, feel free to contact us at 328-5800.