From the 2017 Artlink Annual Meeting

Artlink’s 2017 Annual meeting was held on Wednesday, June 14, at Phoenix Art Museum. The Artlink board welcomed 110 attendees, including artists, arts advocates, and representatives of the City of Phoenix, galleries, performing arts, and other arts organizations.

Present Board Members: Catrina Kahler (President), Sally Russell (Vice President), Dan Clevenger (Secretary), Rick Naimark (Treasurer), Constance McBride (Arts Committee Chair), Hillary Foose, Bentley Calverley, Nicole Underwood, Margaree Bigler (PR Committee Chair), and Rembrandt Quiballo. Not present: Jerry Harper and Brittany Butler.


The meeting opened with a video introduction of Artlink, followed by a welcome from Artlink board member Margaree Bigler, representative of Phoenix Art Museum. Margaree introduced honored guest, Amada Cruz, Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum.

Amada congratulated Artlink on the pending 30-year anniversary Art Detour and lauded the hard work of community investment in the urban core over that time. Upon coming to Phoenix, she asked who “owned hip” in the Valley and it was very clear that it was downtown. The reason Phoenix Art Museum is thriving is because of all the hard work invested by those here; it takes this ecosystem of people to make a city great. The Museum is thrilled to be partners and looks forward to the next 30 years.

2017 Annual Meeting

Photo by Kyle Field.

Board Elections

Artlink President Catrina Kahler proceeded with the meeting, beginning with the election of the 2017-2018 Board of Directors. Thanks were given to past board members Jill Bernstein, Sarah Levi and Mark Scarp who stepped down from the board earlier this year. Bernstein had served on the board since 2011. The board thanks them for their significant contributions.

By unanimous vote, the Artlink board renewed the terms of three directors:

This rounds out the current roster of the Artlink board:

Annual Report

Catrina provided an overview to the organization statistics included in a “by the numbers” annual report that reflected the past year’s work of Artlink, an organization whose operations are managed by a volunteer board of directors. The report includes the number of Art d’Core Gala attendees (600+); the Juried Exhibition sales ($16K) and awards given to artists from Artlink ($7750); the growing number of Mixed Media attendees (150+); and the number of submissions to artist calls (471).

2017_Artlink_Infographics Annual Meeting

Click to enlarge.

The next Mixed Media Happy Hour will be scheduled in July.

The board expressed its gratitude to Downtown Phoenix Inc., for its partnership in printing First Friday maps.

Catrina introduced Artlink Treasurer Rick Naimark who reported on Artlink’s 2016-2017 finances. The emphasis on this year’s budget was on one-time investments that included Phoenix Urban Guide development and an updated brand and logo for the organization. The annual budget is approximately $75,000 to $80,000, much of which composed of sponsorships, grants and in-kind contributions. Articipant fees account for one percent of the budget. Artlink will be looking at ways to connect with organizations who are interested in connecting with artists.

The Artist Forward Fund (TAFF)

Catrina introduced the new TAFF program. Artlink allocated $500 to the initial grant and is looking to make a long term commitment to the fund and its growth.

As a step in this direction, it was announced that For the People owners, Shawn Silberblatt and Chad Campbell, agreed to sponsor the new program by matching this initial grant, bringing the total grant funds to $1000.

Catrina introduced Vice President Sally Russell and Arts Committee Chair Constance McBride. Sally spoke to the importance of TAFF as a means of supporting artists. Constance emphasized the need for the arts community to grow along with the city. TAFF represents a new way to support, and mentor, artists.

The Artlink Artist Council (AAC) was formed from a diverse group of established professional artists: Julie Anand, Joan Baron, Christine Cassano, Bill Dambrova, Peter Deise, Isaac Fortoul, Gabriel Fortoul, Frank Gonzales, Annie Lopez, William LeGoullon, Ann Morton, Joe Ray, Patricia Sannit, Randy Slack, Marilyn Szabo.

Constance introduced AAC member Joan Baron to announce the recipient of the first TAFF grant, Ashley Czajkowski. Ashley expressed her thanks and looks forward to the mentorship opportunity.

Annual Meeting Ashley

Left to right: Rembrandt Quiballo, Constance McBride, Shawn Silberblatt, Chad Campbell, Ashley Czajkowski, Joan Baron, Sally Russell, Christine Cassano. Photo: Kyle Field.

Phoenix Urban Guide (PUG)

Approximately 75% of the attendees were familiar with PUG. Catrina spoke briefly to the functionality of the site and the opportunity for both artists and arts destinations to upload their exhibition information. Artlink is partnering with the Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture on the development of the new calendar function, which will represent a single connected voice for the arts and culture community. Nicole Pasteur, representative of the Office of the Mayor, was in attendance and recognized for the City’s support of Artlink.

Art Detour 30

Artlink originated from the Art Detour event, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2018. It’s not just an event for the public; it creates connectivity and community within the arts and culture community.

The dates for Art Detour 30 will be on the Third Friday weekend in March 2018: The Art d’Core Gala will once again be an opening night event on Thursday, March 15; Friday through Sunday will be the “Detour”; and Monday/Tuesday will be a series of symposiums that will focus on artist career development and the intersection between the arts and the community at large.

Planning for the weekend Detour may evolve so that the event activity and promotion can be more focused. Each day presents an opportunity to focus on a specific district.

The 30 year logo was unveiled with an invitation to everyone to suggest topics for the symposiums planned for the event.

30th logo

A question was asked about trolley service during the weekend. The trolleys will likely run Friday through Sunday but the programming plan needs to further develop.

The goal of Art Detour 30 is to further establish Phoenix on the national arts and culture map. To do this, there is a need to focus on the quality of art, as well as the number of artists and the quantity of arts experiences.

A question was asked about the timing of Art Detour on the same weekend as Mesa’s Spark Festival. Artlink was pressed in recent years to maintain a consistent Art Detour weekend and committed to the Third Friday weekend. Artlink is interested in connecting Phoenix and Mesa, and finding a regional connection. Other comments referenced events such as Art Basel and Vivid that build energy and create geographical cohesiveness by connecting arts events happening in multiple areas of a city. Dorina Bustamante, representing Downtown Phoenix Inc., spoke to the opportunity to connect and become more of a national draw. Catrina confirmed that Artlink is open to collaboration.


Thanks to West Elm, a national retailer that supports local artists and is opening at Uptown Plaza, at Central and Camelback, on June 29. On June 28, there will be a pre-grand opening event and a portion of the proceeds with benefit Artlink.

Special recognition was given to Leslie Criger, who serves as operations support for Artlink, acting as Articipant liaison, and volunteer coordinator.

Artlink is making a commitment to pursue grants so that it may grow with energetic and skilled staff that will support the growth of the organization moving forward.