I feel the comments in Donna and Neil’s letters to the editor last week need to clarification.
Black dot no. 1: All checks are not promptly sent out or tracked. A photo of mine sold at May’s show and I never received payment. I said nothing at the time feeling I was offering it as another donation.
After the vindictive email sent out in December, I no longer wished to donate to AAI. So I asked for my money explaining why I was asking for it at this time. I sent three emails in January with no response. I finally got an email saying a check was sent but never cashed. Who keeps a check outstanding for eight months and never inquiries why it was not cashed? I received the check Feb. 3. I am going out to dinner with my $35.
2: Financially prudent? At the end of 2013, AAI had $27,153 in cash but donated only $3,625, given to smARTS, Idyllwild Arts and the tree lighting. Is tree lighting arts education?
3: You provide financials? Shanna Robb, who led probably the largest events undertaken by AAI, including the deer project, the Banner Project and the Master Chorale gallery, asked the AAI president for financials for two years before she gave up and said she would not lead any more projects without them.
4: Yes, membership has increased. Many joined, including me, because of what Shanna provided, not just for the galleries but for independent artists.
5: A volunteer of the year is great but how do you know who it should be if volunteer hours are not recorded — another important practice of a nonprofit. That is how you get grant money.
6: Great, an offer for a free audit. Who would not follow up immediately? Yet according to Marshall’s article last week, Byron Ely had not been contacted.
7: This is a volunteer organization. Since I joined about a year and a half ago, I have volunteered for every event except the Art Walk as I was at the 2nd Saturday Art Fair. I know about volunteering.
As for Neil’s letter, what can I say? Learn the difference between a for-profit corporation that made $18 million last year and paid taxes and a Public Benefit Non-Profit Corporation that doesn’t pay taxes and is responsible for following the laws that govern it. Check out the California Corporate Code.