This past weekend marked the first annual Crusade Summit, where directors from Crusade for Art local chapters met to collaborate, plan, and get inspired to bring new ideas back to their member artists. As this was the first Summit, the goal was to set up guidelines and organizational structures for the local chapters and create both short and long-term strategies for success at the local level. While Crusade for Art provides resources and inspiration, the goal is to empower photographers to activate and begin implementing ideas and programs at a local level to create demand for their work.

Independent, volunteer Crusade for Art chapters around the country are the ground force of the movement.  The chapters are provided with the program guidelines, best practices, support, logo, and brand of Crusade for Art, as well as use local resources and creative talent to develop new programs.

Local chapters create and implement programs and events that both create exposure opportunities for their artist members and cultivate new collectors within their communities.

We are launching two local chapters - Crusade for Art Chicago (with Matthew Crowther as director) and Crusade for Art Pittsburgh (with Matthew Conboy as director). So the Matthews came to Atlanta, and we got to work. Each chapter will have a maximum of ten member artists, and artists will rotate out of active membership in the group after two years. Local chapters will have their own websites and will plan and execute a minimum of four programs or events per year.

The challenge (for all of us, yes?) is to create programs that not only give member artists exposure and exhibition opportunities, but also actively cultivate new collectors in the community. That's what Crusade for Art is all about, after all.

And I must say, these two guys. . . incredible. Not only are they absolutely wonderful artists and people, they have the heart, passion, and commitment to really make a difference in their cities and beyond. I am thankful for them, and Chicago and Pittsburgh will be thankful for them to.