By Elinore Kaplan and Larry Hurst, co-chairs
All of our committees and subcommittees have missions, responsibilities with which they have been charged by the Board that are in keeping with the mission of the Society. This is ours:
Work on the public presentation of Ethical NYC—communication within and beyond—with the aim of creating greater awareness of and communication between the Society members, potential members, and the public through clear and consistent messaging, branding, and publicizing of our programs, events, aims, and accomplishments. This includes coordinating communication in the areas of public relations, advertising, print, audio/video, social media, and the website, in liaison with Ethical’s leadership, committees and staff.
As co-chairs, we (Elinore and Larry) lead the committee, along with our staff liaisons, Ed Beck, Communications Manager, and Yalitza Garcia-Krawczyk, Office Manager. Ellen McBride is a committee member, and Leader Nori Rost and President Liz Singer are ex-officio members. Often, we invite the chair of a program committee to join our meeting, and on occasion have a full joint committee meeting because at times there is an overlap in their works and ours so we collaborate.
We try to keep abreast of what all the committees and Leaders are doing and planning. Ideally, we have ample (two-three months) notice so we can generate publicity to raise public awareness of who and what Ethical Culture is and what goes on here. The PCC (Programs Coordinating Council) is of great help in this regard because that’s where all those chairs meet and share ideas and plans.
IMPRESSIONS REALLY COUNT
A necessary aspect of our mission is the visual presentation of our Society, including the building itself. A couple of years ago, the committee realized that we needed a subcommittee to focus on just this. What does our public space look like? Is it attractive and welcoming? Do we have consistent graphic presentation of our logo on all our print and other materials? How clear and consistent is the signage throughout the building? And so was born the Branding, Signage, and Décor subcommittee, co-chaired by Howard Rose and myself (Elinore)), with Steve Serling and Marion Burns, plus Yalitza. Its mission is:
Ensure that the Society’s branding is apparent and consistent, and employed appropriately in our promotional materials as well as those produced by affiliated organizations/co-sponsors. We make décor recommendations to encourage consistency with the branding and authenticity of style within our historic building, aiming to create a welcoming space for members and visitors while increasing awareness of the Society’s mission and work. We also oversee permanent installations and custom signage (e. g. room plaques, Wall of Honor) throughout the building. In addition, the committee strives to educate committee chairs and others regarding the use of branding (print publications, banners, giveaways, signs, etc.). This can include creating or subcontracting the graphics and the vendors for the items.
What is the first impression visitors to our building have, or those just walking past on Central Park West or West 64th Street? You would be surprised how many neighborhood people have walked past our building for years and either not known or been prompted to find out what it was. However, the big, bold banners (designed by Yalitza) on the Central Park West side of the building and now (after more than 100 years!) our name on the front, plus a beautiful Ethical flag at the center entrance have prompted inquiry and visits. On the glass panels in front of the ramped eastern entrance, you’ll see one decal all about the Society and our programs and, alongside that, one all about the Young Ethical Explorers (YEE).
Inside, at the lobby, there’s the new Adler Hall sign above the center doors to our wonderful auditorium, with an adjacent plaque explaining who Felix Adler was. Then, up on the fourth floor, another plaque at the entry to the newly named Algernon Black Ceremonial Hall. Up on the fifth floor are plaques at the doorways to the Elliott Library and Adler Study.
In coming months, Steve Serling and Howard will be revamping all our room name and number signs, and directories in the lobby and on the 5th floor.
And then there’s the art in the bathrooms and lounges. If you’ve got furniture, a vase or artwork you’d like to contribute to spiff up the place, so bring it to our attention.)
Learn more about all our committees in the Member Handbook in the Member Portal of our website — and do consider joining one (or even more)!