Council News, July 2016
Council met on June 21 in the meeting room of the National Portrait Gallery. Thank you to Joseph Ripp for hosting us. As I wrote in my last report from Council, ARLIS is at a crossroads and we have to evaluate everything we do so we spent time discussing the findings of the Membership Working Group. As the responses to the survey were given in confidence it wouldn’t be appropriate to collate and share the results, so the Working Group have been very busy trying to interpret the results and discern possible ways forward.
We also discussed at length whether or not the current council structure and modus operandi is as effective as it might be, especially when it comes to long term planning. We have many very active committees but we asked ourselves if the committees are focusing on what it is genuinely needed or if they are focusing on activities which may no longer be appropriate but which council requires them to report on. Each committee has been asked to carry out a review of aims and objectives and to ask fundamental questions about the best ways in which they can we harness the talents and expertise of committee members and members who don’t take part in committees.
As well as tackling all these existential issues Council also has to oversee business as usual. We received an update from the Conference Working Party who are putting together an exciting programme for Dublin 2017. The Art Researchers’ Guides have been a great success in raising the profile of ARLIS and publicising the institutions listed within them, but they have not proved to be a way of generating income through sales as was initially hoped. The earliest guide, Leeds, is due for revision and other guides are in the pipeline so the Publications Committee are investigating printed format is no longer appropriate and the publications committee are investigating apps or other ways in which the content of the guides may be made available.
David Pulford, ARLIS Chair