This Century Art Gallery,
Operational Vision and Business
Plan - June 2006
History of the Gallery
The Gallery is a member-owned, 501(3)c organization,
largely managed and operated by volunteers,
which has existed for 47 years in Williamsburg,
operating out of a series of Colonial Williamsburg
buildings, for which it has paid only nominal
Both members and invited non-members may
exhibit and offer for sale their work in
a number of shows each year. Art instruction
is offered on a fee basis to the community
in classes taught by member artists. Since
the Gallery does not have sufficient space
for such classes, they have generally been
presented in rented facilities around the
A number of outreach programs have been
carried out over the years, and currently
consist of programs focused on providing
instruction in various arts areas for pre-school
children, children in grades one through
twelve, and adults.
There has generally been a focus on identifying
and serving individuals who might not otherwise
get a stimulating exposure to the arts, such
as various categories of "at-risk" children,
jail inmates, etc.
The Gallery is managed by a volunteer Board
of Directors, and volunteer officers elected
by the members, who serve two year terms.
The gallery is open six hours a day, six
days a week, and is largely staffed with
a rotating cadre of volunteers who act as
hosts and greeters. The Gallery has recently
employed a part-time Business Manager to
support its business functions.
The Board has adopted a mission statement
which states: "[the Gallery] presents
and promotes a broad spectrum of high quality
arts and crafts through regular exhibits
by visiting and member artists and provides
lectures, workshops and classes for the enrichment
and education of the community."
It is to the more effective achievement
of this mission that this business plan is
Description of the
During recent years, the Gallery has been
operating within a reasonable financial equilibrium,
producing on average a modest surplus. However,
Colonial Williamsburg has indicated a desire
and intention to end the subsidy it has provided
through furnishing inexpensive quarters.
Consequently the Gallery is faced with the
need to both acquire a new facility and augment
its income in such a way as to make it feasible
to occupy such a facility. At the same time,
it has been recognized that merely reproducing
the existing facility will not support the
full extent of the community outreach activities
to which the Gallery aspires.
The Gallery is preparing to undertake a
capital campaign, and is simultaneously developing
plans for acquiring a more suitable facility
which will support a major increase in its
outreach programs as well as its income generating
activities. In combination the capital infusion
and the augmented operating income is expected
to make feasible the acquisition and operation
of such a facility, which we believe will
be critical to the success of the expansion
of our outreach programs.
This Business Plan is aimed at explaining
the changes in the outreach activities which
are contemplated, as well as the changes
in the operations of the Gallery which are
expected and intended to generate the increases
in net operating revenues which will be needed.
Expansion of Outreach: the
new facility will not only provide space
for expanded programming of art education
classes throughout the year ( more than doubling
the current offerings), it will also provide
for greater collaboration and programs offered
by the Virginian Museum of Fine Arts, for
expanded art exhibition space, and for studio
space of artists providing continual demonstrations
and workshops. Below are a few examples of
the new educational and outreach programs
- "Art After School" Programs
- regular, varied art education programs
during after-school hours for all levels
of students. Also an art library resource
for program participants and the public.
Art field trips.
- Ethnic Arts Programs - presentation
of national, regional and local art from
Hispanic, Native American and African-American
communities, as well as demonstrations
and workshops by the artists in conjunction
with the displays.
- Access for the handicapped - special
art programming for the handicapped.
- Art for Seniors - variety of tailored
art programs for seniors, as well as specialized
outreach programs and art therapy at adult
day care and long term care health facilities.
- Evening and Weekend Art ClaSSes for
working adults - full programming of art
education classes year-round.
- Expanded space for monthly student artist
exhibits as well as guest artist exhibits
- Expanded year-round professional art
class offerings, including clay, sculpture.
photography, jewelry, oils, acrylics, watercolor,
pastels and mixed media.
- Computerized art library for art history
and art education classes.
- In conjunction with area high schools,
established school credit for advanced
- Week-long summer "art camps" for
- "Art Exploration" weekends
for children, adults and families.
- "Master" workshops dedicated
to professional artisans.
- Classes targeted for young artists and
students that focus on the business and
marketing aspects of fine craft.
Obtaining grants from third parties has
been and will continue to be closely tied
to our outreach activities. Even though we
have been carrying out a number of such activities
out of our existing facility, an enlarged
facility will provide the opportunity to
attract new sources of grant money.
Revenue producing activities: The
financial objective of the Gallery is to
produce a sufficient surplus through the
activities described below to enable it to
carry out the wide array of outreach activities
to which it is committed.
Gallery income is, and will continue to
be derived from several sources. Below we
describe these sources, and indicate the
plans through which we expect to augment
them in the context of a new facility.
- Dues from members. There
are approximately 475 membership units,
divided between Individual members, with
annual dues of $35, and Familv members,
with annual dues of $50. There is no distinction
between artist members, who may display
and sell their work, and social members,
who do not avail themselves of that privilege.
Plans: No comprehensive
program has heretofore taken place with
the objective of explicitly increasing
the membership of the Gallery. The Capital
Campaign is expected to provide opportunities
to introduce the Gallery to a wider audience
and point out the benefits of membership.
At the same time, a broader array of programs
is expected to make membership even more
- Commissions on the sale of art
work displayed in the Gallery: Invited
artists, who may be non-members, and
member artists display their art work
throughout the year in the Gallery's
display space, which is open to the public
six days a week. The public is invited
to view the shows at all such times,
at no charge. The commission to the Gallery,
for sales of such displayed work, is
Plans: It is expected
that a new facility will provide increased
display space for featured artists, member
artists, and particularly craft artists,
who have heretofore had available only
very limited space. In addition, the Gallery
contemplates charging a use fee for studio
- Fee-based art instruction: Throughout
its history, the Gallery has sponsored
art classes for members of the community,
generally taught by members of the Gallery.
It has not been possible to use the Gallery's
own facility, due to space limitations.
Consequently, it has been necessary to
rent space for all such classes, driving
up the cost for attendees, and generally
reducing the appeal of the classes.
Plans: It is expected
that, in a new facility, sufficient space
will be allocated for conducting classes.
Consequently, it is expected that we will
be able to present a much broader array
of offerings. It is expected that our income
from such classes will, over a period of
time, grow substantially.
- Gift Shop: We have not,
in the past, been able to offer a gift
shop. Most museums have the ability to
offer merchandise for sale which is related
to their displayed art work. These include
books, jewelry, cards, and prints among
Plans: Our annual Holiday
shows have in the past demonstrated that
there is considerable demand for such items,
and we expect to establish a gift shop,
benefiting both our members and the public.
- Rental of office space to other
arts organizations: Heretofore,
the space limitations of our existing
facility have allowed us only to provide
only the barest minimum of space for
our own needs.
Plans: As an arts center
for the community, and particularly since
we have established a reasonably full functioned
business office, we believe it would be
helpful to the other arts organizations
in the area to offer them office space
suitable to their needs. If it should be
feasible in a new facility to do so, we
will provide sufficient space to meet the
needs of as many organizations as we can.
- The Gallery as a meeting/reception
venue: We have not had the capacity,
in our present facility, to provide an
attractive rental space to organizations
and individuals seeking accommodations
for receptions and meetings.
Plans: We plan to seek
opportunities to generate revenue from
providing the venue for such events, from
businesses, other non-profit organizations,
and from individuals.
Financing Plans: We are
currently in confidential discussions with
the Williamsburg City Council, James City
County and York County to determine the availability
of government owned property that might be
made available to a Williamsburg Area Community
Art Center on a long term lease basis at
a minimal cost. Should we be successful in
this pursuit, it will enable us to commit
the bulk of funds raised from a capital campaign
to site preparation and construction of a
building to meet our specific needs.
We believe that the time is right to conduct
a feasibility study for the capital campaign,
with the objective of determining an achievable
fund-raising goal. In order to get the serious
and focused interest of potential donors,
we understand it will be essential to have
identified and secured a property that meets