Guest post by Cliff Manspeaker
As many of us in the Orlando creative community were gearing up for Creative South, we first reconvened at the Iron Yard for this month’s Community Meeting.
The April meeting kicked off with a quick intro, after which we jumped right into the announcement of AIGA nationally launching its Spring Membership Drive. These are held twice a year with the Spring 2016 one happening the week prior to our Community Meeting, March 28th through April 1st. To contribute to this drive on a local level, a few posts were sent out on our AIGA Orlando social media channels throughout the week about being a member and giveaway windows that happened Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Anyone who joined or renewed during those selected times were entered for prizes including a one-year Skillshare subscription, a one-year subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud and a LG UltraWide monitor. During the membership drive, the organization as a whole gained 1143 new / renewing members and our Orlando chapter added 5 new members and 9 existing members renewed their memberships.
AIGA is a member-based organization, which means half of its funding comes directly from membership dues. What that means for us here is that our chapter receives a percentage of all dues paid to help us with operational costs, event expenses like bringing speakers into town, and opportunities to sponsor other happenings around town such as Dribbble Meetups and Creative Mornings.
Our next primary order of business was talking about our local chapter and how together we can do amazing things! Do you wanna get involved? Wanna do more? Our organization is 100% volunteer run, therefore we are always on the look out for people to join us at any capacity. During the meeting, we reviewed several ways to be more deeply invested such as holding a position on the elected board, being on the community board, or as part of an event committee such as GUTS or the SPOT showcase. In the case of our elected board positions, we are needing spots filled for social media, membership experience, sponsorship, education, treasurer and design for good. All are welcome to apply! It takes all of us in this community to make great things come to life. Applications are being accepted now through to May 13th.
As part of the presentation, we reviewed the three reasons for wanting to get involved
- Build relationships
- Give back
- Gain experience
I’d like to share with you my experiences serving on the board and what these reasons mean to me. It is very easy to be isolated in a bubble at your job and not experience what other creatives are building in your community. By being part of AIGA, I’ve met so many people through the years that I would consider to be friends. I love attending meetings and events to find out what every one is working on and what the latest tool or trend is. Let’s be honest, how many of you had heard of Slack before attending our meetings? I can honestly say I didn’t know anything about it until I had attended my first community meeting in September of 2015.
There is nothing like giving back to our city and its creatives even with something as simple as attending a community meeting. I’d like to think that everyone likes to be a part of a group. Well, volunteering to help with the planning and execution of these events makes it that much more worthwhile. Connections are made, inspiration is shared with others and it gives an overall sense of being. I get a big smile on my face when I think about the GUTS pumpkin carving event from last fall and on how many of us got involved to help raise awareness and donations for the Make A Wish Foundation. We are making our neighborhoods better through design and our talented pool of creatives.
The experiences I’ve gained as a part of the board range from communication, scheduling, project management, etc. with just too many more to mention. The biggest boost I’ve noticed in myself is the confidence in meeting new people, speaking publicly in front of my peers and colleagues, and wanting to grow and learn more from the amazing people that surround me everyday.
I know you could speak personally to anyone on the elected board, community board and volunteers that would probably share similar stories on why they got involved and how it has changed their lives. Please feel free to reach out to any of us for questions or insight and consider being a part of our organization. We would love to share our experiences with you!
As a recap, this chapter and everything we do is to support, grow, and inspire our creative community because we believe in this organization and our city.
See you all in May!
AIGA Women Lead Initiative
Our first AIGA Women Lead event kicked off on March 16th as a group gathered at the Imperial to discuss ideas and programming. The first event will be held in May as a workshop / open forum. Please reach out to Tibby if you are interested in getting involved.
Drink & Draw
Our Drink & Draw event at Barley and Vine was a great success with over 75+ of us in attendance. Even the rain didn’t deter us from having a great time!
Orlando Solar Bears
We got together as a group to support our local ice hockey team, the Orlando Solar Bears, and hang out. A great time was had by all even if they didn’t win that night. Highlight of the night was Victor seeing a bear on skates.
If you have ideas for future members only events, please reach out to Tibby.
We’d love to hear from you.
April 23, 6-9pm at Real Thread. There will be 27 mentees showcasing this year and Lenny Terenzi will be our guest speaker!
Valencia College Spring Portfolio Show & Tell
Wednesday, April 27, 5:30pm – 8:30pm on West campus
Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30pm
Design with a Purpose
Thursday, May 5 at 6:30pm at Purple Rock Scissors
Vector Illustration Workshop
A members only event held on Saturday, May 21. Details coming soon.