On Sunday we had our annual strategic planning session at Altered Esthetics. It was both a productive and fun meeting... we reviewed some of our accomplishments from years past and set some goals for 2012 and beyond. (To infinity, and beyond!)

It was the first strategic planning session led by anybody other than myself! What a fantastic feeling. A huge thanks to Cris for doing such a stupendous job, and for the rest of the board for getting engaged and contributing. No small task for such a large group!

Years ago, I worried about Altered Esthetics being able to continue along without me at the helm. Part of applying for nonprofit status, creating the board structure we have today and working so hard to train and engage others was about sustainability, and wanting this resource for the community to continue. We now have a mentorship model built into our board, and the pace at which we've grown and improved (and continue to improve) is surprising and incredibly rewarding.

At the end of the meeting, our gallery director and my dear friend Summer congratulated Cris on a job well done in facilitating the meeting, a major, major milestone for the organization. And then the board presented me with this:


Sorry for the fuzzy photo... the plaque at the bottom reads: Altered Esthetics: Established 2004. The print is of Adam Turman's "Q'arma Building" piece, which he created for us in 2008. Surrounding the print is notes and drawings from the other board members and also from Adam, thanking me for my service and commitment to the arts community.

What a treasure.

I feel like it's really THEM I should be thanking, not the other way around! Everybody on the board is so committed to the mission - every bit as passionate about serving the arts as me, also generously contributing their time and energy to support other artists in the community - and selflessly supporting each other too. It's amazing.

Sometimes I wonder if artists that aren't volunteering (are there any, really?) really know just how much energy goes into and has gone into making this community what it is? Not just us at Ae - we're just ONE organization among many. But from Ae to NEMAA to Springboard and beyond, it's incredible to watch. I know the exponential level of energy that goes in to it, and I'm incredibly grateful to be a part of it all.

Thanks to the board at Ae for setting this week off on a really wonderful note. Love and hugs to all of you.