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National Basketry Organization

NBO Website Premiers And Membership Drive Begins

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"Welcome to the National Basketry Organization, Inc., a non-profit corporation dedicated to basketry and everyone who appreciates this unique art form, which is both an ancient craft and modern art. Whether you are a basketmaker, a collector, a novice weaver, a studio artist or someone who simply admires baskets, we think you'll find something of interest in these pages. We welcome your interest. We are a member supported organization and invite you to join us. "
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The long awaited National Basketry Organization has begun a major membership drive and has unveiled its new website. The new organization traces its origins back to the major American basketry conference at Arrowmont in 1999. At that time panel discussions were held and the groundwork was laid for the new basketry organization many American basketmakers have been hoping would come into being.

A group of dedicated volunteers has been working very hard to get things started. I spoke with Helene Meyer, who filled me in on the progress the group has made up to now. Helene is a founding board member and is acting as Executive Director until such time as the NBO treasury will allow the hiring of a paid director in this position. She told me that they have begun to take care of the "nuts and bolts" of putting together the non-profit organization. The incorporation papers were filed on June 21, 2000 in the state of Georgia. Bylaws have been written, a Board of Directors put in place and Task Teams organized. The members of the board will serve rotating 3 year terms. Positions on the board and the task teams have been filled by an impressive list of individuals with prominence in the field of American Basketry. The teams are looking for additional volunteers for fund raising, communication, educational programs, scholarships, mentoring and a myriad of other projects. Please consider volunteering your time and talents above and beyond your membership fees.

In the past year, four newsletters have been published and distributed to a contact list that included participants from the Arrowmont conference and basketry organizations around the country. Tentative plans are being drawn up for the first NBO Conference to be held in September of 2002, in a location as yet to be determined. It is the immediate intention of the NBO to plan a conference every other year and publish a newsletter quarterly. The ultimate goal is for the NBO to build a treasury strong enough to offer a well underwritten biennial National Basketry Conference and to publish a 4-color basketry magazine on coated paper in what is referred to as a "slick format".

A website has been created for the organization that includes details about the mission of the organization, the officers and directors, a photo gallery, an events calendar, a message board type forum and a Membership Application. Certainly the website will grow right along with the NBO.

A membership drive has been announced, with several levels of membership ranging from a basic annual membership of $25.00 through to a Founding Benefactor at the level of $1000.00. All membership fees are fully tax deductible, as allowed by law. Although not everyone will be able to join at the higher membership levels, prospective members are encouraged to join at the highest level they are able to afford. Helene reinforced the idea that the reason for individuals to join the NBO is not just for the newsletter or for the conference, but to throw their personal support behind the effort to make basketry a more recognized and appreciated art form. We all need to take responsibility for raising awareness of and appreciation for the art of basketry.

This is a historic and important step for American Basketry. I encourage all of you to join in the effort to launch this organization today.

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