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President’s Message

President’s Message

Fall is around the corner, and as I look back on the year thus far, I am so appreciative of the tremendous amount of work our committees have been doing as we push to evolve and grow AACG. It has been a joy to work with everyone and share our passion for this organization. My focus going forward continues to be positioning AACG as a leading resource for the glass and broader art community, and we are making significant strides in doing so.

Our weekly MeetUps offered exclusively for members are going strong, and our free first Friday with Fired Up! remains a wonderful way we can connect with the public at large to offer a wide range of educational programming. We have new social media strategies in place that are increasing our following, and our website is full of information with both a worldwide exhibition page and an events calendar.

We have also been trying some new advertising and marketing incentives and are heartened to see a positive response (i.e. new members) with each new thing we have tried. This does not mean there is a lightning fast solution to the membership attrition AACG has suffered over the years, but it is our signal to keep stepping outside the box to try new things so we can connect with a new audience. One new member who joined recently has been collecting glass for 40 years! She attended our free Fired Up! program and enjoyed it so much she joined so she could also participate in our members-only MeetUps. This type of connection is exactly what we are looking for to build our membership as we go through a very transitional time in our organization. The more support we have in our new efforts, the more successful we will be.

Our biggest project this year is our new member portal on the website. This is our private resource center for members that will provide exclusive access to all archived videos from our Friday MeetUp series, a link to a playlist of all our Fired Up! video programs on YouTube, and also an easy-to-access archive of past newsletters. It has been a really big undertaking, and I am thrilled to be able to launch this new online treasure trove of information for our members. I have to really thank Linda Greene for being so easy to work with on this project, and for her time, patience, and help.

In addition to positioning AACG as a leading educational resource on glass, I am also looking for other ways we can not only serve the community better, but also gain visibility for our philanthropic efforts. One thing I think we can really work on is improving our messaging as an organization — who we are and what we do. A big thank you to Felice Appell who sent out our first press release announcing the significant amount of AACG funds that went to our first round of grants this year and to our Visionary scholarships — including our new scholarship program for BIPOC and disabled artists. AACG gives at a level that is very impactful in the community (close to $100,000 budgeted for 2023), yet many people I talk to are completely unaware of what we do. For people to join our organization, they need to first understand and believe in us, and communicating not only our mission but our philanthropic efforts throughout the year is a critical part of connecting with new members through our story.

There is also room to improve on our messaging with our existing members so they are aware of their full range of member benefits. We are rebooting our Collectors Travel Network program, which I am finding many members are unaware of. This is a really special program that AACG offers exclusively to members so they have the opportunity to tour incredible private glass collections around the country by appointment. We will be announcing the relaunch of this program soon with an updated website page and more information.

Lastly, we have also changed to an easily remembered website name ([url=][/url]), just in time for our first ever membership mixer at Trifecta Gallery in Lexington, KY. The owner (and artist) Travis Adams started a small collectors club when he opened his new innovative gallery space. With new AACG business cards, brochures, archival copies of the newsletter, and signs with an easy to scan QR Code, we are primed and ready to connect with a new audience. Travis and his team are bending over backwards to put together a great event for AACG. This event will bring together the local glass community of students, artists, enthusiasts, and collectors to share in the joy of glass, and perhaps also to result in some new members for AACG. We are so incredibly thankful for Trifecta’s help in reaching a new and untapped audience for our organization.

Thank you to all of our board members and community members who volunteer their time to continue to build this amazing organization. Thank you to all of our members for your continued participation and support of AACG. We appreciate you and wouldn’t be able to do what we do without you. We have a lot to look forward to, and I am so immensely grateful for your support!


Demetra Theofanous