November 9, 2020

Monday, November 30, 2020 at 6:30 pm

Due to COVID-19, and in response to social gathering restrictions imposed by Executive Order of the Governor of Rhode Island, the Special Meeting to vote on the proposed amended Constitution will take place virtually through online conference ZOOM.

Dear Fellow Members and Friends,

I know I speak on behalf of the Board of Managers in hoping you are well and managing during this difficult time. As Winter approaches, rest assured the Art Club will continue to observe the rigid controls and practices established by the Governor.

I am writing to you with very exciting news. As you may recall from the Annual Meeting, the Governance Committee, under the leadership of Shawn Kenney, Chair, and Caroline Reed, Vice-Chair, reported on the work they were tackling regarding: succession planning; Club operations and policies; emergency procedures for staff; committee charters, goals and policies; and amending and restructuring the Constitution for clarity, to eliminate confusion/inconsistencies, and to ensure compliance with Rhode Island state law. All this work is being done to insure good practices, as well as transparency. Work began in 2018 with help from consultant Gayle Gifford of Cause & Effect Inc., who provides strategic and facilitative consultation, and continued with advice from Attorney Doug Giron of Shechtman Halperin Savage, LLP. Attorney Giron took great care in reviewing and offering his legal opinion in many instances.

With guidance from Ms. Gifford, the Governance Committee - Susan Aitcheson, Nancy Gaucher-Thomas, Lorraine Hynes, Shawn Kenney, Chris Ratcliffe, Caroline Reed, Charles Wharton, and Betsy Zimmerman - spent countless hours drafting the document that is included here for your review. The Board of Managers unanimously approved the final proposed amended document on October 21, 2020. There was healthy discussion at the Board level, and we are all very proud of the result.

In broad terms, the proposed document maintains both the content and spirit of the original; specific updates fell into the following categories:

  • Reorganization of structure for clarity and consistency
  • Compliance with current State laws and regulations regarding 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, while maintaining the historical integrity and original spirit of the Club
  • Affirmation that the Board of Managers - rather than a specific individual - controls the interests and affairs of the Club
  • Confirm and solidify the operation of the Club in the 21st Century

Please watch your email beginning November 9th so you will have ample time to review the agenda for the Virtual Special Meeting on November 30, the enclosed ballot materials, and to vote.

The electronic ballot may be accessed by clicking HERE.  A link to any additional information, including the Club’s current Constitution and the Proposed Amended Constitution is posted in the members’ section of the PAC website, and may be accessed by clicking on the link HERE. You will need your login and password. If you have any difficulty getting to any of these materials, please contact Julia Hubbard at The electronic ballot and any additional materials will be available from November 9, 2020, until the completion of voting, on December 7, 2020.

If you have questions related to the proposed amendments, please email Julia Hubbard at (preferred) so that she can have the appropriate person respond to your questions. Kindly do this before 11:59 p.m. on November 23rd so that we may include responses to your questions in our Virtual Special Meeting on November 30th. Responses to members’ questions will be available in the members’ section of the PAC website.  In addition, the results of the Virtual Special Meeting will be posted on the in the members’ section of the website until the close of voting on December 7, 2020.

This is no small undertaking, and the process, as well as the information contained in the ballot itself, were developed to make participation in voting as informative and as easy as possible. Please remember you must be current in dues and assessments in order to have your vote count.

I believe this is an historic moment with much thought given to our founders and the original intent of this important document.

Warmest Regards,
Nancy Gaucher-Thomas
President, Providence Art Club

Contact us:
Providence Art Club 11 Thomas Street Providence RI 02903 (401) 331-1114