My name is Susie Grant and I am the former director of ART 321- Casper Artists’ Guild (the Guild).
During my tenure at the Guild I had the privilege of working alongside many wonderful people, which included minorities and those within the LGBTQ community. We provided a safe environment to host the Gay Pride Youth Dance in June 2019 with no issues from unhappy members or donors.
We encouraged artists of all backgrounds, abilities and sexual preference to take part in our monthly shows, workshops and weekly groups. Our long-standing members who devoted thousands of hours of work, dedication and money created this “safe place”.
The lack of respect is appalling. Allegations of mishandling funds, misrepresenting profits, ambiguity of workshops, lack of communication and intimidation tactics must be taken seriously by the board of directors.
When concerned citizens and members tried to address these issues the board and staff denied access to the regular board meeting and would not directly answer questions or address these concerns at a special meeting. What are these board members hiding? Are they hiding their lack of knowledge about the organization they are charged to manage? Shouldn’t the board’s vested interest be focused on the financial stability, artistic growth of all artists within our community, state and region? Shouldn’t those charged with the operations want to ensure all artists are in a safe environment free of intimidation? In reality, this board has much more to lose legally and financially than any employee of this nonprofit. Don’t they want to make sure each dollar received and spent is accounted for?
Finally, the election of the current board members is still a mystery to many active members and was done under the cover of COVID-19 restrictions and shady bylaw changes. An immediate audit by this board regarding finances and operational practices should be of utmost importance to these folks. This board of directors is personally responsible for all facets of operations of our treasured organization. Ignorance of the law does not preclude a board member from liability of wrongdoing.
SUSIE GRANT, Casper