Art Friends Warwickshire – Annual Meeting 2023

Chairman’s Report
After the Covid-related ups and downs of 2021 this was a much steadier year. Our basic
model remains as it was: talks, visits and holidays for like-minded art lovers, having fun and
raising money for art-related causes.
Our last Annual Meeting took place on 15 March 2022.
Our events over the past year are listed in Appendix 1. They have been generally well-
received and I believe that the programme as a whole has been reasonably well-balanced.
Please give us your feedback and your ideas. We really value them.
I am delighted to say that our holiday trip went ahead in 2022 following the cancellation in
2021. This was organised and run by Gill Ashley-Smith in her inimitable style. I am glad to
say that the trip to Yorkshire for this June is going ahead and is well-supported. At the
meeting I will say a word about other upcoming events.
This is our magazine, edited with style by Dianne Page. Six issues were produced during the
year, a rhythm which will continue. At a time when direct contacts have been limited,
ARTLOOK has been a major benefit of membership and a link between us all. I hope you
have all enjoyed reading it. Thanks to all who have contributed.
The finances for 2022 are set out in Appendix 2. They show receipts of £38,818, payments
of £40,053 and a balance of £10,938 carried forward. The main item of expenditure was
£9986 on awards. The main source of income was the tour – a net surplus of £4499.
We do not exist to accumulate funds and I am comfortable that we have been able to make a
step increase in what we spend on awards. Our position is healthy.
I am very grateful both to our Treasurer Sue Yeomans for handling all aspects of our finances
so professionally and also to Paul Preston for examining the figures.
When we set up the awards scheme we thought that to make the awards would be relatively
straightforward and that our only problem would be an excess number of applications. It has
not proved to be like that. We now know that to donate effectively requires us to get
alongside the arts world in Warwickshire and to engage proactively with potential recipients

on the basis of a strategy. That strategy is set out more fully on the website. In brief we are
seeking to make awards in the following main fields:
 Art as therapy. It is well-established that art can help people with a variety of
conditions, especially in mental health.
 Art as a contribution to community development.
 The promotion of art and the appreciation of art.
 Support for individual artists and groups of artists. This can, for example, take the
form of supporting programmes to help artists with the skills they need to reach their
customers effectively.
I am grateful to Faith Matthews and the two other members of the Awards Committee,
Veronica Cutler and Brian Phillips. Faith will be present on 4 April and will speak about
what has been done and what is in train.
Thanks to everyone who has renewed their membership and paid the subscription of £20.
The number of paid-up members currently stands at 146. We very much hope that the new
leaflet will help us to increase that number and we urge your help in distributing it further.
Many thanks to everyone on the committee – Gill Ashley-Smith, Sandra Clowes (Secretary),
Alex Corrin, Dianne Page, Sue Yeomans and Ann Tollett – for their hard work and good
humour. I am glad to say that all, plus myself, are prepared to continue on the committee,
subject to election at the General Meeting.
Last but not least, thanks to you all for your support.

David Howells
March 2023