What the Art-A-Thon For Haiti is about:
We are not for profit event coordinators organizing art "marathons" across the country to raise money for relief efforts in Haiti. Artists are asked to donate their time to create art for a 6-12 hour period of time. The artwork created will then be bid on in an auction. These events will be held in open, public places so people can come in and view the art as it is being created and potentially place a bid. We rely on the entire community to make this possible; from local restaurants to conventions centers and finally, the general public who will make this all worthwhile.
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Step 1: Finding a Venue/Date
A. The best places to look are large convention centers, hotels with conference meeting areas, community centers, Art museums (or museums of another nature), or specialty venues with large spaces. If your group is smaller, find a busy public place that will suite your group size.
B. Stress that we are putting on a non-profit, fundraising event and you may be able to have the space donated. It is counter-productive to pay money for a space when that could be sent directly to Haiti.
C. If possible, give the venue 2 to 3 possible dates for the event in order to be more flexible with their existing schedule. The best day will probably be Saturday, as most people are off from work and out and about in the city.
D. Our goal is to have all of the Art-A-Thons take place between the months of February-April. The month of March is, however, preferred.
Step 2: Call to Artists
A. It is important for Coordinators to have a date and venue finalized before approaching others about the event so that you have something concrete to discuss. A vague timeline will not work for anyone and only add confusion.
B. Send emails and contact artists in the community. Keep in mind that many professional artists are approached about donating paintings frequently, so do not push them if they are not interested. This should be a feel good event that makes everyone happy. Tell them the premise of the event, along with pertinent, up-to-date information about the situation in Haiti.
C. Along with professional artists, there may be many people in the community who are just starting out and want to get their name out there. Contact local colleges and universities, art galleries, art councils, etc. for names.
D. It may be wise to offer two different painting shifts, one for early in the day, and one for later. Many people do not want to sit down and paint for 10-12 hours straight, and most people also have other obligations. We suggest six-hour shift sign ups for artists to choose from.
Step 3: Advertising
A. Contact your Mayor's office and local media (newspapers, local magazines, radio stations, and local tv/news) to find interest in supporting and promoting this event. Give them the details and suggest to them coming to the event, as well as advertising in online calendars and on websites.
B. Promote the event on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites.v
C. If possible, contact locals via email about the event (lists of contacts from local art stores, art councils, etc).
Step 4: Planning the Event
A. Communication with the venue is crucial. You will need to find out what they are willing to provide in the way of tables and other equipment, how much room you will have, and what hours you'll have access to the space. Also find out their requirements for having people painting in the space, such as putting plastic on the floor. Make sure there is a water source nearby to allow artists to exchange their water throughout the day, as well as bathrooms for participants to use.
B. Create a layout for the event. Figure out where you want the artists, how much space each artist will have, where people will be entering and exiting, and whether or not you want tables set up to hold artist business cards and accept donations.
C. Figure out what you can provide for the artists and what they will need to bring for themselves. Communicate this clearly! Give them a list of the things for which they are responsible (paints, brushes, easel, dropcloth, etc). Stay in close communication with us to find out what supply donations are available to your event.
D. Determine what kind of system you want to use to collect bids, whether you want to have lot numbers with the artist's work and a central location for bids, or if you want people to bid directly on the spot.
E. Find people willing to volunteer to help set up, break down, and be available on the day of the event. Local art guilds, high school students, and college students may be a good avenue.
F. Approach local restaurants or other businesses about donating goods for the day of the event, such as hors d'oeuvres, bottles of water, wine (check local laws), and snacks for the people who are there.
G. Follow up with everyone as the date draws near to make sure they are on schedule.
H. Form a clear plan of what to do with art that is not sold on the day of the Art-A-Thon. If preferred, unsold paintings can be shipped to:
Art-A-Thon for Haiti
4 Mulberry Ct
East Greenwich, RI 02818
Step 5: The Day of the Event
A. Verify the night before the event that you have all necessary equipment.
B. Allow ample time for set up the morning of the event.
C. Have people stationed to greet artists as they come in, as well as people ready to help artists get set up.
D. If applicable, have someone set to man the table with the artist business cards and donations.
E. Have people stationed throughout the event to answer questions, help artists, and help participants if needed.
F. Make sure you have enough people around to help clean up at the end of the day.
Step 6: Follow Up
A. Send thank you cards to sponsors and those who donated any goods or services.
B. Take care of the art that is not sold.
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