IPCA Board Address from Synergy4

The following presentation was made at the Synergy4 Conference on Tuesday, August 15 by IPCA Executive President, Barbara Forbes-Lyons


bfl webIPCA Executive President, Barbara Forbes-LyonsAll the Boards have been very busy getting to know each other and we’ve spent a lot of time discussing the future of the IPCA and what we can do to build the association into an organization that meets and exceeds the needs of its current members and offers value to the polymer clay community as a whole.

To that end, the Executive Board, which now includes both Regional Presidents, have taken the input from all Board members and created the following commitment to our members.

We commit ourselves to increasing and enhancing benefits for our members. Here are some of the items we will be bringing forward to the membership:

  • A digital copy of the International Polymer Clay Awards exhibit catalog to all members starting with this year's awards. Print copies will be made available for purchase.

  • International Polymer Clay Digital Magazine 6x per year - this program will continue and in September, advertising will be available for purchase by members, manufacturers, and vendors.

  • International Polymer Clay Digital Newsletter 6x year – an interim newsletter published jointly by the regional Boards to highlight events, artists, and general news within the polymer community.

  • International Polymer Clay Annual - a digital collection of never-before-published tutorials, tips and techniques - projected release Q4 2017. This will be an annual benefit of membership.

  • We are working with manufacturers, suppliers, and education providers to offer discounts on materials or online content. We have a commitments from two education providers already. After we confirm similar discounts and programs we will announce the full list of benefits. It is our intent to make these discounts available to all members regardless of location.

We commit ourselves as advocates for polymer clay as a legitimate medium for art and fine craft as well as supporting guilds and groups dedicated to polymer clay. We are planning the following:

  • Outreach programs aimed at including polymer at museums, galleries, publications, and art institutions

  • Educational relationships  to produce and distribute a polymer clay curriculum suitable for high-school and university courses.

  • Creating a grant program for guilds, groups, and individuals to be used for things like building a group library, attending educational events, or bringing in a guest teacher.

  • Endowing a scholarship to honor the memory of Brenda Urquhart, Americas VP-Education, whom we lost in a tragic accident this past July.

We commit to creating a community of polymer artists, regardless of experience, age, gender, sexual orientation, location, or race. Plans are being made to bring the following to you:

  • Peer to Peer interactions in topic-specific discussion areas. Topics like design, sculpture, caning, polymer 101, critique, and business, moderated by experts on those topics.

  • Live videos and online chats about topics of interest to our members and an archive of these offerings for future members to access.

  • Events designed to be accessible to all levels of polymer expertise and sensitive to the financial impact these events have on our members. We want to introduce an event where you can be as hands-on with clay as you would like and extend your knowledge by selecting from an á la carte menu of classes, seminars, and round-table discussions that meet your interests and budget.

  • Due to the level of planning needed for an event of this scope and the available volunteer pool, the next event would take place in Spring or Summer 2019. The final decision on the location will be based on available facilities and costs including tax requirements. Our members in the Rest of the World Region will not be left out of the event planning process, either.

The IPCA dues structure was last revised in 2009 and will be revised next month to meet current costs of operations. The dues increase will help us move forward on new programs and give us the operating capital needed to secure event locations, start grant programs, and endow the scholarship.

We ask for your support by renewing your IPCA membership next year, by volunteering to fill openings on committees or within your Regional Board, by encouraging your guild and group members to join the IPCA so they can enjoy the array of benefits we are committed to bring to our members and our polymer community.