Guest Author: Guild President Tina Yager
The mission of the Guild of Scenic Artists is to be a key resource for Scenic Arts professionals who need to stay informed of trends, meet industry challenges, and obtain opportunities for professional development.
Congratulations to all of us who have joined the Guild! We opened up membership one year ago and, as your President, I am proud of all the work we have accomplished in such a short time!
You’ve probably been wondering, who is Tina Yager and why is she in charge of the Guild? I imagine you scrolling through our about us page failing to place if you’ve met or heard of me, especially if you live outside of the Midwest. I am not a big name and that is okay by me- but what should be important to you is that I have worked in our unique industry for 15 years, and most importantly, I love helping people grow professionally.
There are a lot of reasons you’d want someone like me, a wallflower instead of an airhorn, in charge as our organization forms. Most clearly, I aim to reflect the needs of the industry as a whole by listening to what you have to say about it.
When we send out surveys and gather data, we are studying and quantifying how our industry works, and how Scenics use our services. Knowing more about our demographics not only helps us serve our audience better, it also helps us get grants. I’ll continue reflecting and you can expect more surveys!
As the board leader, I strive to continually set my ego aside and challenge my fellow board members to do the same. We are putting an enormous amount of
work into the Guild, but we are not special– we are just willing. This is not meant to undercut the extraordinary talents and gifts that our board, committees, guest authors and other volunteers possess and give to the Guild freely. Scenics are an intelligent and creative bunch, and our board members and other volunteers reflect our field in that regard. We put in the time because we believe in the mission and are proud of who we are as an industry, as Scenic Artists.
My responsibilities for the Guild are more in line with an executive director roll than president. Ensuring that we are delivering on what we have already promised our members is one of my top priorities in the next year. One of my main goals is to to streamline the membership sign-up process, and make sure the Forum is operating without glitches or technical frustrations, and that we continue to be a reliable source for information.
Are we useful? Do our actions elevate our industry and promote the tenets of our mission? These are questions Lili Payne, our vice president, asks all of the time. There are more fantastic ideas presented by members and during our board meetings than there is time and money. No surprise here. Lili is an excellent steward to the Guild and encourages us to be accountable and healthy as we grow.
This brings us to financial stability; we have been operating long enough to begin applying for grants and other funding. We are lucky to have Scott Gerwitz heading up our fundraising committee. He has begun the foundation-building work that will set the Guild up for long term fiscal health. Pursuing diverse funding streams allows the Guild to mount larger and more long term projects like hosting a conference, creating a more comprehensive database, and other projects.
Your actions speak: Jobs for Scenic Artists and The Scenic Route blog are the most visited part of the Guild’s website. The success and popularity of the blog is due to incalculable effort by Angelique Powers. Help us make these tools even stronger by encouraging colleagues to use our job posting page and reach out to Angelique to get involved as a guest author.
Last, I want to facilitate a variety of methods for participating in a community of Scenics. Your feedback tells us that you want more in-person development and networking opportunities. We have begun the research and development process for a future Scenic Artist conference to meet that need. In the short term, we want to encourage smaller programs that serve Scenics through booster grants and cultivating a robust Forum. Do you have more ideas? We’re listening.
The Guild thrives when all of the voices are in the room.
Looking forward to another year!
Tina Yager , President, Guild of Scenic Artists