The Early History of the NAIA

June 1995, Chicago, IL
On Sunday morning, June 11, 1995, a group of approximately twenty-five Old Town Art Fair artists and artisans met informally in the Old Town Triangle Association building to discuss concerns and interests regarding the current state of affairs in the art/craft world.

November 1995, Orlando, FL
Bannister Pope leads a dedicated group of volunteer leaders through the organization’s first official membership meeting at Festival of the Masters in Orlando.

March 1996, Winter Park, FL
A meeting of the organizing committee included adopting the formal name of the organization.

April 1996, Open Letter to Artists
An open letter to exhibiting artists across the country is sent to share information on previous meetings and encourage participation in a “nationwide independent artists association.”

July 1996, Ann Arbor, MI
A meeting or organizers results in a comprehensive survey distributed to artists and show directors for the purpose of organizing National Standards or Show Practices.

November 1996, Letter to Members
In November of 1996, the steering committee distributes a letter to artists.

July 1997, Ann Arbor, MI
The “ad hoc” Steering Committee meets to design organizational structure including elected its first President/CEO and Chairman of the Board.