Last night I was a juror for the East Lansing Art Festival. Many of you may be surprised to hear that based on how vocal I was about their $40 jury fee. As I said, I would not apply myself with that high of a jury fee. So what’s the best way to effect change? Get involved. Don’t just complain about something when it’s within your power to try to do something.
After we finished jurying, I talked to both the Director and a Board member about the high jury fee. The Board member was surprised to hear that it was considered high. I think they were both surprised to hear that people might not apply due to what I was calling the unreasonable cost of the jury fee.
The result? They talked about lowering it to $25 next year! How artist friendly is that! As they said last night, they have two purposes as a non-profit organization. To bring a great event to the community and to serve their artists. That was GREAT to hear.
One of the other things they had to do this year due to money issues was to raise the booth fee $50 to $300. It was a hard decision and something they didn’t want to do (but I asked and the booth fee hadn’t changed for 4 years). One thing that money gets them is the ability to offer all day Friday set-up for their artists. Yes, another artist friendly thing that they’re doing. And it was a really hard thing for them to do according to the Director but they had to.
If they lower their jury fee next year, I’ll be the first one out there pointing out that they listen to the artists. I can’t wait!