Visiting Artist Tours
Clubs and club members that want to take advantage of the BSF Visiting Artist Program need to make certain commitments in order for them to have success in the Program.
- Understand that it will be unlikely to have the visiting artist scheduled on the normal meeting dates and times. Tours typically include between 8 and 18 sessions, and obviously visiting artists’ dates cannot all be scheduled on a preferred day and time (Saturday morning). Attempts are made to distribute Saturdays to various clubs, but it is important to have a backup facility, if necessary, to schedule meetings or workshops for visiting artists on days and times other than normal days and times.
- The visiting artist contact person for clubs plays a critically important role in helping to make the tours successful. First, the contact person needs to be conscientious in prompt response to emails from the BSF Speakers’ Bureau Chair so that tours can be finalized and to emails from other club contact people. Also, the designated pick up and drop off people need to be conscientious in communicating with contacts from other clubs regarding times and locations for picking up and dropping off visiting artists. Sometimes this involves long drives between clubs so regular cell phone and texting communication are important as a courtesy to others. Understand that the visiting artist tours involve a lot of people who need to work together. One person in the chain who lets others down can adversely affect the entire tour.
- The common-sense principle that will make visiting artist tours successful is to ‘treat others as you would like to be treated. If you are housing the artist in a hotel or motel, make sure that it is one in which you would be happy to stay in. If you are housing the artist in a home, make sure that the artist has a clean private room and bathroom and that he/she has some private downtime. Do not try to get the artist’s time and talent on the cheap by asking for advice or help on bonsai trees without paying for a session. Make sure that you nicely take care of the artist’s meals with enough time for a relaxing meal. Remember that they are our guests and that we are privileged to have them.
- Important – Make certain that the visiting artist is paid immediately after the session. Avoid embarrassing situations and wasted time on the part of others to track down which club did not pay the visiting artist.
- Clubs will be billed by the BSF Treasurer for a prorated share of the visiting artist’s transportation costs. Make sure that the bill is paid to BSF on a timely basis. Again, avoid wasted time on the part of others trying to track down unpaid transportation bills.
This may all sound burdensome to some clubs or club members. However, those that have participated successfully in the past will attest to the importance of having the opportunity for nationally and internationally known and respected bonsai artists to visit local clubs and share their time, talent, and knowledge. This program goes to the heart of the mission of virtually every bonsai club affiliated with BSF – to further the knowledge and understanding of the art of bonsai among members.