What a roller-coaster of a year 2021 was, right? From talking with many of you, it seems like everyone had some big ups and downs throughout the year. After such a wild ride, I wanted to take a moment to share what Woodstock Arts is looking to focus on this year. Every January, the board of directors and staff goes on a retreat to review Woodstock Arts’ strategic plan and make adjustments to best positively impact our community. I believe in transparency, so I wanted to share where we plan to make these adjustments during 2022.
- Stabilize operations. In January 2021, Woodstock Arts had four staff members. By the end of this month, we will have 17 staff members, plus three year-round contractors. Whoa. To say things have changed is an understatement. Our culture, communication and operations have all evolved (or must evolve). With explosive growth, we want to make sure that we honor your support. You have made that growth, and the positive impact through the arts, possible.
- Reinforce community engagement. After having to retreat a bit in 2020, and growing last year, we wanted to audit ourselves and ensure we are maximizing community engagement. During the past seven years, we’ve focused on engagement through volunteerism, community partnerships and involvement in community-wide activities. We love it all, and are looking forward to reinforcing our involvement in 2022 so you all know how much we love this community.
- Think long-term financially. Did you know that the August 2022-July 2023 season is our 20th anniversary? Don’t worry; we will let you know more soon. But, this organization has truly had a generational impact through the arts. This community (you) are so generous with your time and money. You make this organization amazing and so worthwhile. We always strive to show good stewardship of funds, but as we recover from COVID-19, we want to ensure that it isn’t just a recovery; it isn’t just a reaction. We want to be proactive, so we continue to make an impact for generations to come.
After the retreat, when we finalize our adjustments to our strategic plan, you’ll be able to see all of our hopes and dreams for the next few years. Until then, know how grateful we are. It is because of you that we are able to have these goals and plan for the arts to thrive in our community.
– Christopher Brazelton, a Florida State University graduate, is the executive director of Elm Street Cultural Arts Village.