By Robbie LaFleur and Lisa Bauch
This 75th anniversary end-of-the-year is a great time to count our collective blessings as the Weavers Guild. The organization is vibrant and growing. We have new, enthusiastic members. We have new and more classes. We have a wealth of shared knowledge in our industrious study groups. We have new looms and spinning equipment! We have members whose volunteer activities ensure our mission will continue for decades to come.
And we are blessed with great staff members! This week I want to highlight the work of our Managing Director, Becky Franklin. Because Becky has been a constant presence at the Guild for several years, and we regularly appreciate her work with the website and THE DRAFT, you might not realize that she has donned new hats with great success in the past year.
In her new position as Managing Director, she assumed oversight of development strategies. She created new categories of donations, including memorial funds and sustaining memberships. In the past year we raised $79,000 in grant support and $55,000 in individual donations. Our new category of sustaining members increased from from fewer than 5 to nearly 80.
The Guild would be nothing without the support, energy, and volunteering of our members. With new programs to attract younger members, Becky increased members under 30 from fewer than 5 to more than 50 and created a task force to guide engagement with younger members.
Over the year Becky met regularly with standing committees and member groups, and in particular was a great support to the board members and others who worked on our new Strategic Plan.
Becky trained and mentored two new staff members this year, creating a cohesive team and a terrifically inviting atmosphere for our members and visitors.
Becky was also appointed as the Chair of the Minneapolis Arts Commission, and while she clearly is a great asset to our city, her role benefits the Guild as well. Our guild comes up in conversation among a wide network of arts organizations and Becky learns of opportunities for funding and for collaboration.
This is a full plate, right? What are we forgetting? Oh yeah. A NEW BABY. Adorable Archer feels like a part of our Weavers Guild family. Congratulations, Becky, on this splendid year.