birds of a feather

The Birds of a Feather Membership program was created in an effort to stabilize our cash flow while also rewarding those donors who go above and beyond in their giving.  Many think that the bulk of our funding comes from government grants, but that is not the case.  Our Missouri Arts Council funding fluctuates every year, but has been declining steadily for the past decade.  The City of Columbia provides funding as well, which also fluctuates from year to year.  To put it into perspective, these two government entities combined provided us with approximately $17,000 in 2015.  This averages out to less than $1500 per month.  While we are grateful for that support, it is only a tiny portion of what it takes for us to fulfill our mission.  Our monthly operating costs are $10,000, just to pay utilities, maintain insurance, buy supplies, service our equipment, pay the instructors, etc.  That is our minimum, "keep the lights on" baseline of need.  We have to cover that before we even begin to think about growing and hatching any future ‘nest eggs.’  We have a lot of donors that faithfully give once a year, but now we’re asking them to give in monthly increments instead.  Even if the total amount we receive from donors is the same at the end of the year, it will help us tremendously to have that money spread out evenly over the 12 months.  That consistency will enable us to avoid highs and lows and plan for the future.

The Lark

I am the lark.
Rising from earth-bound field
In circles of song, without pause,
Lifting wings toward unseen height.
I rise with song
Spiraling upward to distant point,
Ascending
Singing ceaselessly as I climb to apex
Beyond sight
Where song is but whisper to sound
Still singing, I return,
Circles of song, descending
With growing crescendo.
Wings gliding in expanding circles
Spiraling downward to base.
Song swelling to forte in descent.
Singing without reason
Singing the inner song
That finds release in flight.
I am the lark
Singing.

--by Naoma Powell

Birds of a Feather Annual Membership Levels and Benefits:

  • Hatchlings - $15/month:  Receive a free Access Arts T-shirt
  • Fledglings - $25/month:  Receive a free Access Arts T-shirt and Handmade Ceramic Mug
  • Feathered Friends - $50/month:  Receive a T-shirt, a Mug, and free one-day Workshop
  • Spiraling Larks - $100/month:  Receive a T-shirt, a Mug, a Workshop, and a free 6-week Class Registration
  • Winged Wonders - $300/month:  Receive a T-shirt, a Mug, a Workshop, a Class, and 5 tickets to CelebrARTy
  • The Big Birds - $500/month:  Receive a T-shirt, a Mug, a Workshop, The Big Birds a Class, 5 tickets to CelebrARTy, and a private Raku firing for up to 10 guests

Birds of a Feather Payments
You can make a regular monthly contribution to Access Arts through PayPal without having to remember it every time.  Follow the instructions below.

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