WASHINGTON COUNTY ARTS COUNCIL, INC.
STRATEGIC PLAN 2022-2024
The Washington County Arts Council, Inc. (WCAC) has been established to foster excellence, diversity, and vitality of the arts that will enrich the social, cultural, and economic lives of the citizens of Washington County and the surrounding tri-state area.
The Washington County Arts Council, Inc. aims to encourage artistic excellence and advances the arts in Washington County and the surrounding tri-state area by advocating for the arts at local, state, and national levels in both the pubic and private sectors, providing and acting as a clearing house and a repository of arts information, coordinating and promoting arts activities in the community, collecting, raising, and disseminating funds for the arts, and encouraging the maintenance or construction of appropriate facilities for the arts.
III. STRATEGIC PLAN FOCUS
The Washington County Arts Council, Inc. will continue to build upon a strong tradition of providing leadership through community engagement, program advancement, and partnership development. The Washington County Arts Council, Inc. will accomplish this through focusing its activities on the areas of:
A. GOAL 1. INCREASE THE WCAC’S SUPPORT FOR LOCAL ARTS AND ARTS ORGANIZATIONS.
Foster excellence and diversity in the arts that will enrich the lives of the people of Washington County and the surrounding tri-state area by supporting the Hagerstown Arts Education District, the Hagerstown Main Street, and the Cultural Arts Trail as an active participant.
Strategy 1. Engage community leaders, artists, and organizations across the tri-state area to better understand and respond to what the WCAC needs to do to expand its support for the arts and arts organizations.
Action 1.2 Conduct focus groups or surveys with community leaders, artists, and organizations to define the ways in which the WCAC can expand its current offerings. (Second and third quarters of 2022)
Action 1.3 Conduct one-on-one interviews with organizations that are under-represented in the activities of the WCAC (Second and third quarters of 2022).
Action 1.4 Evaluate the information received from focus groups, interviews, and one-on-one meetings to determine changes in the programming of the WCAC (Fourth quarter of 2022).
Action 1.5 Implement programming changes recommended based on the conclusions reached from the data gathering (2023-2024).
B. GOAL 2: CONTINUE ADVOCACY EFFORTS TO INCREASE THE AWARENESS OF THE BENEFITS THE ARTS BRING TO THE COMMUNITY.
Strategy 1. Position the WCAC as an expert source for state and local officials regarding community arts activities and public art.
Action 2.0 Determine how the WCAC can increase its role in promoting arts, education, and entertainment activities in the community. This action supports Goal #1, however, consideration might be given to reinstituting the studies previously completed by the SAGE group or Frostburg State University. (Evaluate options in first quarter 2022; complete study during the second and third quarter; implement any decisions 2023-2024).
Action 2.1 Develop new regional arts and educational activities, facilitate cooperation and interaction with arts organizations in the community, and assist artists and artistic organizations (on-going throughout the strategic plan timeframe 2022-2024).
Action 2.2 Advocate for WCAC funding at the state and local levels to increase financial support for the arts in the community. (on-going throughout the strategic plan timeframe 2022-2024).
C. GOAL 3: Continue to increase the programming offered by the Washington County Arts Council.
Strategy 1. Investigate opportunities to expand the programming offered by the WCAC that can enhance artist participation, arts education, and artistic partnerships in the tri-state area.
Action 3.1 Expand the annual calendar of events offered by the WCAC seeking to increase the diversity of the events and participants in the process (annually 2022-2024).
Action 3.2 Strengthen, support, and promote both the Exhibit and Shop Galleries in the community. Locate additional business partners for offsite galleries similar to those already existing at the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, the USMH Health Services Building, and at the Commission on Aging. (2022-2024).
Action 3.3 Expand the role that the WCAC can play in the promotion of arts education through partnerships with the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, Hagerstown Community College, University System of Maryland Hagerstown, the Washington County School System, and arts organizations in the tri-state area (2022-2024).
Action 3.4 Increase the roster of artists, musicians, and performers in the tri-state area and use this information to grow partnerships among artists in the area (2022-2024).
Action 3.4 Utilize the information obtained from Goal #1 and #2, to expand the outreach of the WCAC to underserved populations in our community (2023-2024).
Strategy 2. Expand the number of programs that are offered by the WCAC with a focus on programming that can reach the underserved populations of the community. These programs will be offered through the partnerships that the WCAC formulates with other arts organizations provided there are sources of additional funding to support them.
Action 3.5 Create the first WCAC Plein Air Event to be held in the summer of 2022. This involves sending out a call to artists to participate from the tri-state area, having a reception at the WCAC gallery, and awarding cash prizes based upon a jury of invited artists. Determine the number of artists who can participate and the number of pieces submitted for the event (2022-2024).
Action 3.6 Continue to support the Annual Art Educators Exhibit where all art educators in Washington County’s public and private schools, colleges, private studios, and home school programs can participate (2022-2024).
Action 3.7 Continue the support for the Washington Goes Purple Annual Exhibit which the WCAC does in partnership with Washington Goes Purple organization. This annual exhibit focuses on an awareness to educate our community and youth about the dangers of prescription painkillers and other drugs. The exhibit is focused on the belief that art can build awareness of a common goal of preventing addiction (2022-2024).
Action 3.8 Continue to support the Annual Community Art Show. The WCAC invites local artists working in any medium to submit their best new works for WCAC’s juried community art exhibit “Annual Community Art Show: The Best Local Art” (2022-2024).
Action 3.9 Utilize the information collected to complete Goals #1 and #2 to develop new WCAC art programs and activities that can better reach and serve the underserved populations in our community (2023-2024).
D. GOAL 4: PROVIDE FUNDING FOR THE ARTS-IN-EDUCATION PROGRAM IN COORDINATION WITH THE MARYLAND STATE ARTS COUNCIL.
Strategy 1. Position the WCAC to identify and expand diversity in the types of organizations that participate in the Art-in-Education program.
Action 4.1 Based upon Goals #1 and #2, identify and encourage new organizations to participate in this program (2023-2024).
Action 4.2 Investigate ways to expand the funding provided for the Arts-in-Education program to increase the number of participants and dollars that are awarded with this program. (2022-2024).
E. GOAL 5: Expand the Community Arts Development Grant Program (CAD) and the in-house programming presented by the WCAC.
Strategy 1. Continue to expand the outreach into the community to identify new organizations that can participate in the Community Arts Development Grant Program (CAD).
Action 5.1 Identify additional organizations that can participate in the CAD program and that can help to expand the diversity of the participants in this grant program. At the same time, expand the variety of art genre that participate in the grant program as well (2022-2024).
Action 5.2 Examine and broaden the application, guidelines, and processes involved in participating in the WCAC CAD program to be more inclusive of underserved populations in the community (2023-2024).
Strategy 2. Identify opportunities to expand the programming offered by the WCAC and the Gallery Shop to increase the sales in the shop.
Action 5.3 Continue to identify and schedule exhibitions that provide opportunities for local visual artists and identifying themes that relate to the community (2022-2024).
Action 5.4 Identify opportunities to have WCAC exhibitions and programs that can help to meet the artistic needs of the underserved populations in the community (2023-2024).
Action 5.5 Promote the Gallery Shop as a destination shopping location within the community with the focus on increasing the sales of the Gallery Shop. This may involve increasing the number of artists who have art for sale in the Gallery Shop (2022-2024).
Action 5.6 Continue to promote the WCAC Gallery as a venue for meetings, events, and performances (2022-2024).
Action 5.7 Develop a strong cadre of volunteers and more involvement by the Board of Directors to support the activities of the WCAC Gallery and The Gallery Shop (2022-2024).
F. GOAL 6: Increase the community outreach and communications of the WCAC through increased use of social media, involvement of the Executive Director in the community, increased involvement by the Board of Directors, and support of the Executive Director in activities at the state and local level.
Strategy 1. Utilize social media and arts organizations in the community to increase the awareness of the WCAC in the tri-state area.
Action 6.1 Expand the capabilities of the WCAC in the use of social media and continued growth of the E-newsletter. (2022-2024).
Action 6.2 Provide support for the Executive Director to be involved in important community organizations – Rotary, Greater Hagerstown Community, Visit Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau Board, Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Hagerstown Community College Curriculum Advisory Committee, the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation Board, Washington County Public Schools CTE Professional Advisory Council, and other organizations that support the mission of the WCAC. (2022-2024).
Action 6.3 As vacancies occur on the Board of Directors, expand the board with a more diverse group of Directors that can help to increase the role of the WCAC in the local community with particular focus on the underserved populations in the community (2022-2024).
Action 6.4 Provide support for the Executive Director in arts related activities at the state and local levels including the Community Arts Alliance of Maryland (CAAM), Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, and activities of the Greater Hagerstown Committee and the Washington County Chamber of Commerce (2022-2024).
G. GOAL 7: Investigate programs and events that can increase the fundraising and revenue generation of the WCAC and the Gallery Shop.
Strategy 1. Develop strategies to retain and increase the membership of the WCAC, investigate the establishment of additional fundraising activities, and develop strategies that can increase revenue generated from Exhibitions and the Gallery Shop.
Action 7.1 Establish goals for attainment/retention of both individual and business membership. Increase membership by 5% each year of the strategic plan (2022-2024).
Action 7.2 Investigate and establish some new fundraising events during the year to provide funding for the WCAC with strong Board of Director involvement. Include support for the Art of Cooking, Plein Air Event, Gallery exhibitions, and any new events that are established to raise funds for operations (2022-2024).
Action 7.3 Determine ways that the WCAC can increase the sales of the Gallery Shop in the community through more advertising, increasing the number of artists that participate in the Gallery Shop, and expand the foot traffic in the Gallery Shop (2022-2024).
Strategy 2. Develop a network of corporate sponsors that can underwrite events of the WCAC, and work to develop additional grant programs that can support WCAC activities.
Action 7.4 Identify candidates who could serve as corporate sponsors for specific events or activities of the WCAC (2022-2024).
Action 7.5 Identify grant programs and potential funding from local foundations that can be used to support the operations and programming of the WCAC (2022-2024).
Action 7.6 Investigate and develop additional partnerships and grant opportunities with other arts organizations in the tri-state area (2022-2024).
H. GOAL 8: Investigate the opportunities for the expansion of the WCAC and the Gallery Shop.
Strategy 1. Determine whether the WCAC should remain at its current downtown Hagerstown location or seek other space in the downtown area.
Action 8.1 Examine the feasibility of finding new space for the WCAC and the Gallery Shop in downtown Hagerstown when the lease on the current space matures in 2022 (2022-2023).
Strategy 2. Determine if there is merit to the establishment of a satellite location in Williamsport, Maryland in 2022.
Action 8.2 Investigate the feasibility of developing a satellite location in Williamsport, Maryland with the enhancements occurring with the C & O Canal. Develop a three-year operating budget for this potential site and determine if this is a viable option for the WCAC and the Gallery Shop to establish. Finalize this decision by the end of the second quarter of 2022 (second quarter of 2022).
The Washington County Arts Council, Inc. is funded by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, (MSAC), an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for the MSAC is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. Additional funding is also provided by Washington County Government and generous businesses, organizations and individuals.
The Washington County Arts Council is a proud member of County Arts Agencies of Maryland, Maryland Citizens for the Arts and Americans for the Arts.