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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Unedited Letter Sent on June 2 to Board, Coordinators and Committee Chairs

To: Saints Board
CC: Coordinators and Committee Chair

I am writing to you, the Board, as a member of this wonderful organization with some recommendations that I believe will make the Saints an even better organization than it already is. Those of you that know me know that the performing arts community is very important to me. In fact, I can’t think of very much that is more important to me. I live and breathe theater all the time, and most of my friends know that I spend all of my spare time attending performing arts events, reading, writing and talking about the performing arts. I do my best to connect with others who already love the performing arts and expose others to the performing arts. There is plenty to experience and more than enough to keep so many of us busy and intellectually stimulated.

I have been a member of the Saints for almost twenty-five years and I am very grateful for the opportunities that it gives me to support the performing arts community and at the same time “feed my habit.” I love meeting others who share my passion for theater, and I also like trying to bring new people into the fold.

There are a few things that are even more important to me – and that includes the concept of free speech and having the opportunity to express my beliefs and opinions. So, I am writing to all of you as a member of the Saints, and expressing my freedom of speech by making some suggestions that I think will make the Saints an even better organization that it already is.

Some of my suggestions are the following:

· Open Board Meetings (with the exception of executive sessions that are sometimes necessary) that are in a space where there is sufficient room for members to observe our Board in action – perhaps at a theater when there is no performance

· Agendas that are posted and e-mailed to the membership so that they will know what issues will be addressed

· Timely posting of minutes on the Saints website – the minutes would include all motions that have been made and each member’s vote – this would be most helpful when people are making decisions as to whether they want to run for the Board or who to vote for.

· A 20-30 minute Q&A session at the end of each membership meeting so that members have a chance to ask the board questions and make suggestions to the board

· Encouragement of communication and participation of the membership – this can be done through establishment of committees, encouraging dialog and correspondence between membership, coordinators and board members

· Making it possible to vote by mail or electronically so that the process is easier and more inclusive

· Frequent use of surveys to poll our membership about controversial issues such as how we want our money spent, whether we want to continue the printed Spotlight subscription option, whether we want to reinstate student memberships, etc.

Your feedback is welcome and if you want me to drop your name from my e-mail list, I will be glad to do so. I obtained your e-mail address from the Spotlight and think that it is appropriate that I write to all of you since your name is published and I am a paid up member. I hope that I have set a precedent for dialog and have made a small step toward opening up the organization. It is my belief that the Saints organization belongs to all of us, and we don’t want to put too much power into the hands of a few members. Experience is valuable but so are new ideas and perspectives.

Thank you.

Deborah Granite
Saints Member

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