I may be getting old, or have been working as a C-level executive for too long, but I find that the artists in my local have no professionalism when it comes to customer service.
Last week I stopped by a local gallery. One of the artist approached me and instead of welcoming me to the gallery, she immediately went on a tirade about how she was a teacher and that she has more students in her art class, and how she has no money for supplies and the systems stinks. Plus I had to get her opinion on the commissioners in the county, one of which I sit on a Board of Directors with and have the utmost respect for.
My husband in an avid art collector and I am an artist (besides being the COO of my own business management consulting company) and I was applauded. My husband said he would never go back.  I felt bad for her future students. I run an after-care program for low income kids and have no budget, but you would be amazed what they can do with a roll of paper towels and markers from the dime store.
Then tonight, I grabbed a group of art lover friends to go to an art showing at a local designer space (and I am renovating my house, so I thought I could look for some furniture) only to find the space closed, even though it was advertised tonight until 11pm (we showed up after dinner at 9pm). No note on the door. Very disappointing.
Then to top it all off, I joined last September our local art guild. It has an online website that you get to link your website to. I get my welcome kit with no information and have to call the organization several times to get my log in info. No phone call to welcome me, just a folder with some info. When I finally get a person on the phone, they tell me that they are sorry, and that they are using their old membership kits, until the new one comes in. What hast that got to do with my password, I have no idea.
I decide to contact the President of the Board. I sit on the Board of 2 non-profits in the county and I always embrace the donors and the members. They are just as important as the people that the non-profit serves.
Anyway, I explain to him, that when I finally got to the right person, I asked them, how to I get to learn what the art guild can do for me. It has been several months and not one person from the organization has reached out to me and I do not have a roster of who to contact.
The person at the organization said that it was my responsibility to reach out to them. I am sorry, I just paid over 200 bucks to join your organization and I have to embrace you. You wonder why your membership is down.
I can tell you I gave that President of the Board on earful.
Non-profit or not, I could give my money to other art guilds that will take it and will engage me in their organizations.
I have worked in the past as a retail executive for a national luxury dept. store. I understand the value of customers. I also worked as a development director for a non-profit and I know how important it is to engage the donors and all the volunteers. Without your customers, donors, volunteers you have no business. Profit or non-profit you must engage your audience.
Am I expecting too much? Are my standards to high? I honestly feel that for any organization or business to succeed they must exceed the expectation. Even in my art I am always trying to achieve something new.
When I work for my clients (my business is word of mouth so I must make sure I provide results and my client are happy) I always exceed their expectations.
I wish the art community in Broward County would stop making excuses and get it together.