On October 19, 2001, interested WARM members and Board members met to discuss WARM'S current situation and to create and begin implementing a new strategic plan for the organization. Nancy West, a consultant in organizational strategic planning, volunteered her time to guide us in that first session.

At that first meeting, nineteen women hammered out a new vision and mission statement that more closely addressed the needs and concerns of women artists at this point in our history. The vision and mission statements confirm a shift toward self-empowerment by members, assisted by WARM's commitment to build networks and programming in support of members' goals.

During the meeting on January 18, 2003, we identified objectives for the organization in the following areas: Administration, Communication, Financial, Education, Exhibition, Membership, Mentoring, Outreach (we call it "Artreach"), Professional Development, and continued Strategic Planning. For each objective, we determined what goals needed to be implemented in order to reach that objective.

At the subsequent meeting on February 9, 2003, Kate Wolfe-Jenson persuaded us that, without building and sustaining our membership, none of the other goals and objectives could be realized. Membership goals are as follows:

1.     Establish/develop benefits of membership

2.     Increase participation from members

3.     Increase membership

From these, we generated a list of activities necessary to accomplish each of the three major goals given above. Each person at that meeting went home with one set or more of these activities and was asked to create an outline of tasks that would lead to accomplishing that activity.

For example, one need was to more easily track membership information such as renewal dates, members' skills and willingness to volunteer, and member participation in programming of various types. The new database interface, created by Kate Wolfe-Jenson, is user-friendly for board and committee members with a wider variety of skills (i.e., you don't have to be Kate to be able to use it). Since its implementation in late April, we have received renewals from members who had been unaware that their membership had expired and have been able to better track vital statistical information about our membership and program participation.

Other accomplishments in implementing goals for membership include:

     Sending thank you letters to new and renewing members

     Creating a wallet-sized Membership Card for WARM

     Creating a membership brochure that details current benefits

     Creating a "Why Volunteer" enclosure for the brochure that encourages greater participation among members and details the advantages of involvement

     Initiating new program "Take WARM with You" to encourage members to talk about WARM and identify themselves as WARM members in public situations (i.e., Art-A-Whirl, classes or workshops you teach or participate in, your open studio event).

WARM Strategic Planning is an ongoing process. During the coming year, Alis Olsen, our former Board President, will be chairing the committee that engages in this process. Many skills are needed and many WARM bodies make the tasks lighter. Much of this work is both fun and rewarding, personally as well as for the organization. Those of us who have been involved in the reinvention of WARM at this level have formed friendships, discovered our own hidden talents, and in the process supported an organization that confirms and energizes our values as women and artists. If you would like to know more, or if you already know youwant to be involved, talk to Alis. We'll be happy to have you!




The Women's Art Registry of Minnesota commits itself to building a strong presence and a prosperous futures with and for women visual artists.



WARM's mission is to build networks and programming that create educational, exhibition and professional development opportunities reflecting the diverse voices, visions and values of Minnesota women visual artists.


January 18, 2003

We established objectives and started to establish and prioritize two-year goals within those objectives. We divided into two groups. One group dealt with those objectives that were primarily administrative in nature. The other group tackled objectives that focused on developing, maintaining and expanding programming and outreach. Each group created charts that listed the objectives with goals beneath them.


1.     Review, redo and implement policies and procedures manual

2.     Recruit and train board members

3.     Establish a marketing plan for WARM


1.     Increase awareness of WARM

2.     Establish communication plan

3.     Expand existing communication plan


1.     Establish financial plan

2.     Create grant-writing component

3.     Diversify funding base

4.     Establish savings account


1.     Develop opportunities for artistic growth for artists at all levels

2.     Create opportunities for the general public (children, students, and adults) to learn about the value and necessity of women's art

3.     Advocate for women artists by monitoring and responding to sexism in the larger art community


1.     Create an annual juried or non-juried member exhibition

2.     Continue a mentor/protge exhibition as part of the mentor/protge program

3.     Develop a web gallery/art registry for members

4.     Create a bi-annual exhibition that provides opportunities for diverse visions and voices (expand beyond race, age and fine arts as a way of defining diversity)


1.     Establish/develop benefits of membership

2.     Increase participation from members

3.     Increase membership

a.     Notification of expiration


            Re-envision mentor/protge program


1.     Increase diversity

2.     Develop partnerships

3.     Plan for physical space


1.     Provide professional development opportunities for beginner to advanced artists that promote their work and career.

2.     Create NEW opportunities and programs that meet the needs of beginner to advanced artists.

3.     Provide opportunities for artists to become curators/arts administrators


1.     Establish strategic plan

2.     Establish/Locate strategic planning chair

3.     Review strategic plan on 6-month basis

Reinventing Warm 2/9/03


Alice Giannobile

Barbara Harman

Alis Olsen

Danae Rem

Dawn Vogel

Kate Wolfe-Jenson

Nancy West, Facilitator


From the list of ten Goal categories (Administration, Communication, Financial, Education, Exhibition, Membership, Mentoring, Outreach, Professional Development and Strategic Planning) Nancy asked us to choose the five we felt were most important and rank them in priority order. Though Membership was only listed as a number one priority by one person, Kate Wolfe-Jenson, in talking about it we all came to agree with her that the other areas were heavily, if not completely dependent upon our achieving the Objectives we had set for this Goal. The remainder of this Strategic Planning session was, therefore, spent on brainstorming activities that would support the Membership Goal and Objectives.


1.     Establish/develop benefits of membership

2.     Increase participation from members

3.     Increase membership

  1. Expiration notification


A.    Current advantages of membership

1.     access to email network

2.     listing in the directory

3.     receive newsletter

4.     eligible to participate in annual member exhibition

5.     discount for WARM workshops

6.     invitation to shows

7.     personal publicity on website and in newsletter

8.     reduced cost if already member of a partner organization (currently only WCA)

9.     opportunity to participate in Mentor program

10.  Fresh Art

11.  networking with other women artists

12.  advocacy for women artists through membership

B.    Increase benefits of membership

1.     Create partnership discounts with other organizations (i.e., WARM members get discount on the basis of that partnership and their membership in WARM)

a.     art suppliers, such as Wet Paint

b.     other arts organizations, such as Springboard

c.     other educational organizations, such as Black Arts Alliance, Bloomington Art Center, Minnetonka Art Center

d.     women's organizations (WAI at MCAD)

e.     museums (Walker, MIA, MMAA)

2.     Create educational, curatorial and administrative internship opportunities with above partners (Walker, MIA, MMAA, etc.)

3.     Reinstitute art Regstry by linking WARM website to members' individual web pages and through Minnesota Artists Online website


A.    Produce new membership brochure listing advantages of membership.

B.    New and renewing members receive a welcome call from a member

1.     personalizes the welcome by tying new member to an actual person

2.     welcomer takes the opportunity to talk about advantages of involvement

3.     welcomer asks questions about member's skills

a.     create script for welcomer to prompt for skills

b.     skill base development so we know who to call for what

C.    Create convincing and upbeat "participation advantages" copy for inclusion on the website and the membership brochure to encourage involvement.

1.     As you give you receive

2.     spiritual advantages of volunteering your time and energies

3.     opportunity to acquire new skills, or test existing skills

4.     opportunity to network

D.   Set up a phone tree for volunteer help

1.     five people call five people call five people

2.     available to volunteer coordinator (Danae)

3.     ask for specific task help

4.     set specific time limit for each task

E.    Volunteer hours support the organization

1.     track them

2.     record them for grantors, funders, as in-kind contributions

3.     they represent real money

F.    Make it fun!

1.     annual meeting becomes a party where business is also accomplished

2.     combine annual meeting with May Day Parade

a.     Board members (?) come as crowned WARM BODIES

b.     announce calendar competition

c.     ask Helen Stidger to jury

G.   Presentation/recruitment slogan "WARM BODIES SHOW UP"

1.     could be the slogan for the intern partnership as well


A.    Clean up database

1.     capture expiration date

2.     develop tracking system for skills base and volunteerism

3.     track volunteers and rank them

a.     AMCD (any moron can do)

b.     RSBA (requires some brain activity)

c.     ULMS (upper level management skills)

d.     MENSA (genius level intelligence required)

B.    Encourage members to "take WARM with them"

1.     class and/or workshops individual members teach

2.     any presentations of their work

3.     WARM brochures and information available whenever members present, teach or interact with their public during art events (i.e., open studios)

C.    Establish a public relations component and hire or find a volunteer to do this regularly and consistently

D.   Investigate placing advertisements, feature articles and interviews the connect to WARM or are about WARM

1.     Minnesota Women's Press

2.     neighborhood newspapers (i.e., The Southwest Journal)

3.     The Edge

4.     The Rake

5.     City Pages

E.    Schmooze

1.     to increase awareness of WARM

2.     to interest people with money

3.     to create networks to potential donors, art buyers, future board members, etc.

March 15, 2003         

The meeting consisted of fleshing out plans/ideas on various aspects of Objective #1- Establish/ Develop benefits of membership.  Working with the existing outline, and combining it with our planning ideas,  I put the new action, tasks or ideas, as well as the scraps of paper taped on thepages, in Bold Helvetica. I did it this way because much of what we did was to expand the existing list, with additional ideas, and using different type and making it bold makes it easier to see what is new.  It makes the document long, but I hope, fairly understandable.                    Fern Keniston                                                                        


1. Establish / develop benefits of membership           

2. Increase participation of members           

3. Increase membership           

4. Expiration notificationI.


A. Current Advantages of Membership     

1. Access to e-mail network     
2. Listing in the directory     
3. Receive newsletter     
4. Eligible to participate in WARM's annual member exhibition     
5. Discount for WARM workshops     
6. Invitation to shows     
7. Personal publicity on website and in newsletter     
8. Reduced cost if already a member of a partner organization  (currently only WCA)     
9. Opportunity to participate in Mentor program   
10. Fresh Art   
11. Networking with other women artists   
12. Advocacy for women artists through membership 

B. Increase Benefits of Membership    

1. Create partner discounts with other organizations (i.e., Warm members get a discount on the basis of that partnership with WARM.)           

a. Make a list of' organizations with whom a beneficial partnership might  be established.

2   How to do this? 

   2. Create educational, curatorial, administrative internship possibilities           

a. Contact arts organization and find out about internship possibilities                (get a list and find a way to see who is interested.)           

b. Make an internship application           

c. Adopt a screening process (committee?)           

d. Decide what types of internships

      start with 3 and decide or research which organizations would satisfy these

      Educational (teaching?) (-company that does children's stuff ?

      -learn to be educator in the arts?   

      Curatorial  - galleries

      Administrative?  (with WARM? with arts organizations?)


e. Make a list of all possible organizations for each           

f. Write guidelines to present to each organization           

g. Come up with "Warm Bodies" slogan ideas- company that does children's stuff

3. Reinstate Art Registry  by linking WARM website to members' individual web pages and through Minnesota Artists Online website            

a.  Suggested Action  Steps

            (good place for intern or volunteer?)

3II. INCREASE PARTICPATION OF MEMBERS                                                                          

A. Produce new membership brochure listing advantages of membership    

B. New and renewing members receive a welcome call from a member           

1. Personalizes the welcome by tying the new member to an actual person           

2. Welcomer takes the opportunity to talk about the advantages of involvement           

3. Welcomer asks questions about new member's skills    

C. Create script for welcomer to prompt for skills    

D. Create Skill-based list, so we know who to call for what    

E. Create convincing and upbeat "participation  advantages" copy for inclusion on the website and the membership brochure.           

1. As you give, you receive.           
2. Spiritual advantages of volunteering your time and energy           
3. Opportunity to acquire new skills of test existing skills           
4. Opportunity to network    

F. Set up a phone tree for volunteer help           

1. 5 people call 5people call 5 people...           
2. available to volunteer coordinator (Danae)           
3. Ask for specific task help           
4. Set specific time limit for each task    

G. Volunteer hours support the organization           

1. Track them               

a. Establish a list of voluteers we currently have (use in volunteer phone tree)               
b. Verify that people on the list still want to volunteer               
c. determine skill set of current volunteers               
d. Create a procedure for volunteer tracking that gets integrated  into the database.         

2. Establish a list of skills we commonly need that can be written up on the survey/intake form.               

Examples:   a. mailing   b. gallery sitting   c. show set up   d. donations for openings or other events  e. data entry                 f. calling, etc.          

3. Create a survey/intake form for volunteers that documents their skills when they first offer to volunteer

a. Put a short questionnaire re: willingness to volunteer and a check box for skill areas in which they might be willing to  volunteer right on the membership form, along with a "permission to contact for volunteering "  "or not" check-off spot
b. Create a procedure for integrating the volunteer skills information into the database. ( if this info is right on the membership form, it could be entered along with the normal membership info.).          

4. Record them for grantors, funders, and in-kind contributions                       

a. Create a system for tracking volunteer contributions that gets integrated into the database             

5. They represent real money    

H. Make it FUN!!            

1. Annual meeting becomes a party where business is also accomplished                

a. May 31 - Black Bear Crossing?

                b. Re-annual meeting:

                                    -go on walls at WARM office?                                   

-It could go on a button                                   

-show of RSVP cards at annual meeting                                   

-entry in a contest / donation of prize?                                   

-too soon for slide submission               

c. Parties

2. Combine annual meeting with May Day Parade                  

a. Board members (?) come as crowned WARM BODIES.                 

b. Announce calendar competition                 

c. Ask Helen Stidger to jury                 

d. May Day Parade planning tasks:

                 e. Identify other festivals

                f. Calendar Competition ( info included on separate paper)    

I. Presentation / recruitment slogan "WARM BODIES SHOW UP"           

1. Could be the slogan for the intern partnership as well           


a. Incorporate "WARM BODIES" slogan into other literature  as well               

b. Use "WARM BODIES" slogan to get across our need for a "working " arts organization where everyone does their part.               

c. Write copy to go along with "WARM BODIES SHOW UP"               

d. Use slogan when listing opportunities when joining WARM.           

3. "TAKE WARM WITH YOU"            

4. We want to be visible as women artists (infrared photographs - NAKED!)