keeping in touch: VAI on the road and online

Open communications is one of the pillars of VAI.  It is at the core of everything that we do.  In this we are also very conscious that we are not seen as simply a Dublin or Belfast centric organisation.  As an example of this we have been active in every county in the south, and each of these local authority areas in the North: Antrim, Ards, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge , Belfast, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Coleraine, Cookstown, Craigavon, Derry , Down, Dungannon and South Tyrone, Fermanagh, Larne, Limavady, Lisburn, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newry & Mourne, Newtownabbey, North Down, and Omagh.

BUT, we still get contact that people didn’t know that we were doing something in their area.  For this reason here are some of the ways of keeping in touch with what we are up to:

  1. The Visual Artists News Sheet is available around the country, but as a paid member you get it delivered to your door.  This means that you will never miss an edition.  Last year it contained not only news, commentary and exhibitions, but also in excess of €3,750,000 worth of opportunities.
  2. The e-bulletin service researches, compiles and distributes 2 – 3 emails per week each containing 30 – 40 items of news, opportunities and listings. There are currently over 8,500 subscribers.  This is an increase from 7,300 in 2009. It is free to subscribe and we receive regular and consistent feedback from artists regarding the value of this service.
  3. In addition to our mailing list, this information is disseminated through:

It is good to be able to report that

  1. in excess of 8,500 individuals receive the eBulletin,
  2. 885 individuals follow our twitter account,
  3. 1245 followers of Visual Artists Ireland on Facebook,
  4. 299 followers of Visual Artists Ireland Professional Development on Facebook,
  5. over 1300 artists are subscribed to The Common Room Social Network for the Visual Arts,
  6. and in excess of 700,000 unique visits to our website have taken place in the past 12 months.

We are also physically present throughout the country.  Coming up next week, we will be doing visits in Galway, Sligo, Letterkenny, Donegal, Enniskillen, and Belfast.  This is in addition to the work that our regional reps are undertaking in Galway, Derry, and Belfast.  It is also in addition to the professional development workshops that we are constantly delivering around the country.   We may not be able to get to your specific town, but we always hope that we find central points where a good number of artists can gather conveniently to learn and discuss topics as wide ranging as taxation and accounts to peer critiques or areas of specific interest to professional visual artists.

We do receive calls from some people to say that “VAI is not in our area”.  Our reply is simple… ” We aim to get to as many places as possible.  and so, gather the artists together in your area and tell us your needs…  ”

We also receive calls from artists about workshops.  It is for this very reason that we have so many different ways of getting information out.  So, after you finish reading this missive, have a look at the above list, and find the easiest way for you to keep in contact with what is constantly going on with VAI.

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