Good news, bad news

There is lots of good news. The Sonoma Valley will remain in the name of the museum as it grows into an even more significant cultural institution in the North Bay. To me that is good news because I see the museum as an expression of the collective consciousness of our community and it helps define the character of that community.

More good news is that the current exhibitions at the museum are wonderful. They are thoughtful, insightful, intelligent and culturally significant. It makes me proud that an idea which found a home in an abandoned furniture store nearly 20 years ago has grown into an organization capable of producing such outstanding exhibitions.

More good news is that the upcoming programming at the SONOMA VALLEY MUSEUM OF ART, as presented at the meeting on Monday, also promises to provide the stimulating engagement we always envisioned it would.

Even more good news is that the visitor numbers to the museum for this exhibition and the previous one are setting records.

The bad news is that while visitor numbers are up, membership numbers are declining. The museum cannot sustain itself with membership revenue alone, but it is a significant source of support. Some of the decline is due to technical difficulties with the museum website and database. We were assured that those issues are being dealt with as quickly as possible. But some of the weakness in the membership numbers is also because people have intentionally let their memberships lapse. That is easy to do if the only communication you get is a sales pitch or a notice of a meeting. The hope is that somewhere in the new strategic plan ( available at the SVMA office ) is a way to facilitate communication both ways, between the Board and the membership, and from the membership to the Board.

I thank you all for your input and support. We have been heard and have influenced the direction of the museum’s future. I encourage you to visit your local museum, and if you enjoy what you see, if you appreciate the quality of the presentation of the exhibit, if you appreciate the fact that the museum is an auxiliary campus for many schools, then support it by becoming a member.

I look forward to celebrating 20 years of SONOMA VALLEY MUSEUM OF ART!

Please join me!

Jim Callahan