Alamance County Arts Council Annual Report
I had been at the Alamance County Arts Council for several weeks, designing flyers and working on the monthly newsletter when the director asked me to put together their Annual Report. This meant that I would have to go through every newsletter from the past year to pick out all the exhibitions, community events, education classes, and fundraising events that they sponsored along with the grants and scholarships that the Arts Council awarded. The final product would be handed out to the Board of Directors, Staff, the Community Representative, and Member Groups at the Annual Meeting. Therefore, the purpose of the report was to inform all the members that participate in the on-goings of the Arts Council of everything that they had accomplished and achieved in the past year.
There was already a precedent for the Annual Report since one is created every year. I went back to older versions of the Annual Report to see what the Arts Council was looking for. Because they have their own culture and ways of doing things, it was important that I followed these guidelines to maintain the consistency they had established. I began by working off of an old template instead of starting everything from the beginning.
The most important part to accomplish was to place all the information in the report in clear categories that showed the Board of Directors the combined successes and community engagement that the Arts Council was a part of. Sometimes, I had to e-mail the artist directly or ask the director to clarify specific information because I was not familiar with all of the Arts Councils exhibits, and I needed to ensure I had all the terms and information correct. I also had to locate the scholarships and grants to be included, and I had to research each grant to be able to inform the audience of the specific details for each of them. Gathering all of the information, organizing it, and entering it into the Annual Report gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in the activities of the Arts Council. I was new to the internship, but I was expected to complete the Annual Report with accuracy and efficiency. Therefore, I had to do several rounds of research, revision, and asking questions to make sure that all the information was just right.
After I had completed my research and asked my questions, I began to design the report. I started with the cover page where I included a quote about art to appeal to the audience’s pathos. I inserted pictures from some of the events to show exactly what they were and the success in attendance. Throughout the process, I gave updated versions to the director for feedback. I would then revise based on his comments. At the end of each week, I would print the document to take home in order to double check details such as grammar, spelling, and formatting. The end result was an Annual Report that clearly organized the events of the past year to share with the Board of Directors in order to highlight the improvements and additions that the Arts Council continues to make to the community as a whole.
This document was the most important project I completed at my internship because I was entrusted with a large amount of responsibility. The experience taught me the importance of parallel structure, consistency, contrast, visual images, proximity, alignment, and colors to highlight important pieces and to help the reader navigate through a vast amount of information in an organized manner. I had practice using these rhetorical strategies in class, but what I was not as experienced with was weaving an organization’s cultural identity into a piece. In order to do so, I had to evaluate the context of the situation, including the goals and purpose of the Arts Council.