EartHand Gleaners works hard to provide low barrier, affordable and deeply impactful programming through our various skill development, artist residency and land-inquiry projects.
Over the last few years as our program offerings have grown, we made the decision not to increase program costs to pay for administration; but instead to dedicate any revenue into paying artists fees. This decision allows us to engage more artists in our Artists in Residence program. However maintaining affordable programming requires hours of administrative work and grant writing. Our core team does this work on an almost entirely volunteer basis.
Currently we are exploring moving towards a more sustainable model with paid administrative hours, while still continuing to honour and support the artists who lead our quality, affordable programs.
So, this year we are trying something different.
You will notice three different types of tickets/fees for EartHand paid programs:
Level One/Community Patron – this standard fee is for those participants who can afford the cost of providing the selected program. The fee covers: the artist/host fee, supports administration costs of the organization, a program coordinator and a few dollars towards the artist in residence fees for the following year.
Level Two/Volunteer Supported Placement– covers a portion of the artist/host fees, a nominal amount of administration costs and relies on volunteer administrative support.
Level Three/Sponsored Placement – covers a portion of the artist/host fee and is supported by other fundraising efforts and volunteer administration.
Our goal in piloting this fee structure is to provide equitable access to EartHand programs. Therefore if a program has 9 spaces, we will offer 3 spaces in each type of fee/ticket. We will be tracking our progress towards this goal during the pilot period. I look forward to hearing what you think and together we will see how this allocation works as a starting place.
Please pay as much you are able, this will allow us to get a better sense of what our overall membership can afford and aid in the making of budgetary decisions that keep us fiscally responsible while supporting those community members needing a financial break in order to participate.
Since starting EartHand as a small, arts-based non-profit, we have always been very rigorous and transparent in tracking where the money comes from and where it goes, but the volunteer time behind the scenes has been much more difficult to track.
As well, you may have noticed that over the past few years we have explored a variety of models to try and put the round pegs of stewardship and making-from-the-land, into the square holes of budget spreadsheets and annual reports. The intricacies of that exploration continues, as we now think ahead for EartHand and what succession could look like.
A Note from the Executive Director:
While I (Sharon Kallis) am not going anywhere soon, I am working to set EartHand Gleaners up for success in the future. The creation of EartHand and it’s continued stewardship has been an important aspect of my creative journey and I have been privileged to be able to spend many unpaid hours devoted to this work. However I would not expect this to be a sustainable model and I feel it is important to develop an organisational structure that supports fairly paid administrative workers in the future. As we explore and experiment with various financial models I will continue to seek funding opportunities to support our programs.
Meanwhile the Board Members and I want you all to know that we deeply appreciate the support from the program participants, volunteers and anonymous community members who make contributions through our eco-art programming donations platform with the City of Vancouver.
Thank you for being on this journey with us!
Sincerely, Sharon Kallis
Executive Director/Lead Artist