Anyone who has been to Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program as a student, instructor, or visitor immediately recognizes a special magic in the beauty of the landscape and the spirit of creativity that permeates. From Fannie Clary and her art salons in the farmhouse through the creation of Horizons: The New England Craft Program in the early 1980s to the vibrant art and craft programming that takes place today, Snow Farm is undoubtedly a place that touches the heart, soul, and spirit of its community. As such, the staff and board of Snow Farm is committed to preserving and protecting Snow Farm so it flourishes for the long term; the following strategic vision and plan is the roadmap.
Snow Farm is in a period of growth and increased financial stability. In 2016, Snow Farm purchased the 50-acre property and buildings which house all of our programming. Over the last few years, the number of workshops and the scope of our programming has increased. Systems and the administrative staff have been strengthened to assure smooth operations. At the same time, we remain committed to our core mission: to provide exceptional studio craft and fine art instruction for people of all ages in an inspiring residential setting.
Under the direction of consultant Kate Bender, the Snow Farm board and staff have set the direction for the next five years with the overall goal to realize Snow Farm’s full potential as a residential craft school, one of a small group of similar organizations in the United States.
The plan focuses on four areas.
1.Increase Snow Farm’s visibility, engagement, and accessibility. The efforts in this area will deepen our connection to the town of Williamsburg, the Pioneer Valley, the state of MA, high school program alumni, and our students. We also seek to expand the age and economic diversity of our audience. The continued development of the Snow Farm website and social media platforms will be important in this area as will exploring and expanding strategic partnerships with other organizations. In 2019, we launched the Workshop Access Program that provides discounts to people who would not otherwise be able to afford a workshop at Snow Farm.
2. Strengthen financial stability and sustainability. Both contributed and earned income are vital to Snow Farm’s financial health. On the contributed side, we seek to expand vendor participation in giving, build a base of leadership donors at the $1000 level, establish online monthly giving, and communicate opportunities for planned giving. On the earned side, expanding our revenue stream to include online merchandise purchases and increased gallery sales will support steady cash flow. Lastly, we will continue to analyze and refine our business model to achieve maximum income.
3. Improve and expand stewardship of the land and buildings.The goals in this area focus on land and studio use management, increased use of renewable energy, and improved safety in all buildings. We have already secured a facility management proposal from the Conway School of Design which will guide our exploration of parking, landscaping, water run-off, solar energy, and workshop and dorm buildings. Safety improvements will center on storage and disposal issues, an equipment maintenance and replacement schedule, developing a comprehensive emergency/disaster plan, and reviewing building code to address any issues that may be present.
4. Tend and develop the people who power Snow Farm. The Snow Farm staff, instructors, and volunteers are invaluable resources. We wish to be a competitive employer by expanding staff benefits to include time-off programs and health insurance. We will also increase professional development opportunities in the areas of technology, safety, and other areas of interest. We expect to add one staff person and develop a position for a intern/fellow. We will develop our teaching staff by providing TA opportunities for new instructors, and we will expand our volunteer community by connecting with degree programs and implementing a recognition program.
We welcome our community to get (more) involved with the work that keeps Snow Farm going. Opportunities include: being part of a small ad hoc committee to further define the needs that Snow Farm can meet, becoming a donor, filling a Board seat, volunteering for a special project, or helping making connections. Interested: Please reach out to Executive Director Mary Jo Murphy or Development Manager Holly Martineau.