Monday, May 11, 2015
Board President Brenda Kayzar's May Letter to NEMAA Members
As this newsletter arrives, I know where your focus is; Art-A-Whirl weekend! The buzz of
activity and excitement in NE can be heard miles away. Tracy Singleton, the owner of
Birchwood Café in Longfellow was thrilled to showcase this year’s NEMAA Artist Directory
and can’t wait to see her artist friends this weekend in their studios. Similar sentiments have
been shared in encounters throughout the Cities. Even more fun was overhearing the
conversation of a young couple in line in front of me at Lund’s downtown. They were debating
where to start their arts exploration on Saturday, which would include a lunch stop along 13th and
a sampling at a brewery. So, here’s to arts exploration and the opportunity to extend the day and
number of buildings traversed with a little sustenance stop here and there at a local NE business
offering food and libations!
By now you’ve seen the elegant Artist Directory celebrating 20 years of Art-A-Whirl. A
heartfelt and huge round of applause goes out to Todd Thyberg of Angel Bomb for offering us
the wonderful red ‘wax seal’ design. The use of wax seals on important correspondence and
documents can be traced to Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, and was later used as a way to
authenticate the granting of certain privileges. It is a fitting design for the cover of a directory
that grants potential arts buyers the privilege of guiding them to the artists and studios in NE!
We hope the beautiful directory will also encourage buyers to increase the number of red dots
produced in every studio this weekend as well!
And we are all about red seals and red dots at NEMAA this year. We delivered 63 huge 3-foot
red dots to buildings throughout NE to help draw attention to the places where art is being
produced and sold. In addition the NEMAA member stickers for your door, which feature the
wonderful red seal, we’ve distributed red dot ‘I Bought Art’ stickers for buyers to wear proudly.
And the wearer will get a discount at a number of local NE businesses.
We persuaded Metro Transit to again offer free bus passes to NE so they can dispense potential
buyers at your door (without the hassle of looking for a parking space). Be sure to let your
clients know they can get the free bus pass on NEMAA’s website. And they can use the trolley.
We’ve arranged for Stillwater Trolley to move potential buyers easily from building to building.
Remind them the buses and the trolleys are great ways to transport artwork to their homes!
We’ve also wrangled use of some parking lots from businesses and these will be marked by
NEMAA event parking signs (tell your clients to look at the map in the directory or visit the
NEMAA website). But leave those parking spaces in front of your buildings free. Artists can
also use the bus pass and trolley. We know some of your clients will want to drive, so make it as
easy as possible for those potential buyers to spend time with you!
Finally, congratulations to our artist members who submitted proposals to do something special
for the 20th. They’ve received stipends to help them produce something memorable to
participate in, watch, or take away during Art-A-Whirl this year. I could go on about the Social
Media Toolkit, Information Booths, and cadre of talented workers and volunteers… But instead,
I will close by saying that I wish you all an amazing Art-A-Whirl weekend on this extra special
occasion that marks 20 years of arts practice and community. Enjoy the milieu that is you!!