Greetings and Happy New Year to all! Many thanks to our faithful ASMA supporters for making their generous donations to the Annual Fundraising Campaign that runs through January 31, 2017. It is still a difficult time for artists, yet somehow there is always a true sense of generosity from our members. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting the most extraordinary art group in the nation!
ASMA is beginning to gear up for the 2nd National Marine Conference, which will be held in Mystic, CT from October 19-22nd, 2017. We learned many things from the first NMAC. Overall, everyone enjoyed the experience tremendously. A survey was sent out to attendees and the Conference Committee took everyone’s comments to heart, in an effort to make the upcoming event even more successful.
Overwhelmingly, most of those attending wanted things to be less spread out, with a bit more time between events. Several of you asked for more time together at meals. So, we listened. We are trying to offer a broad spectrum of presentations and activities, most of which will be in a very close proximity to our host hotel.
We will not offer “limited registration” this year, as that seemed to divide the group activities and some felt a bit left out. We will continue to try and keep the registration costs as reasonable as we can, and once again, make it beneficial for members to register early. There are significant costs for the Society to put this all together, which makes it impossible for us to refund registration fees. Usage fees for the facilities are astounding, (particularly in Mystic) and it has been an even bigger challenge this year for working out room costs and meals. We are required to guarantee a certain number of rooms to be filled (a very large portion of the hotels overall accommodations), and we cannot expect for the hotel to take rooms off the market during the busiest time of year, and not be paid for reserving them. Same goes for putting on a catered dinner function. We are still a small group, with very little funds to spare.
This year, each conference attendee will receive a ticket to Mystic Seaport as part of their registration fee, which will be good for a three day period (Thursday through Saturday). Normally, a one day ticket for the Seaport runs $26. ASMA will receive a modest discount for the group, and the Museum will throw in the additional days for the benefit of our members. We will give refunds for a small portion of the registration fee, up to 1 month prior to the conference. Meal minimums have to be met before any meal refunds are possible.
All things considered, the ASMA Board is very excited to be able to present another quality conference in 2017 and we hope that you will make it a point to attend! Keep checking the ASMA website for more information. Registration will start online shortly after the first of the year. See you in Mystic!