Official Stuff – Mission, Charter, By-laws, Policies

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To sponsor, organize and raise funds for activities and projects in Vernonia that enhance community spirit, celebrate the creative arts, and honor our unique heritage.


The vision of this organization shall be:

  • To provide a high-quality learning environment for children and adults that celebrates the creative spirit within each of us
  • To create bridges between children, teens, adults, and elders in the community and share skills, resources, and wisdom
  • To expose the community to visual and performing arts by way of classes, workshops, exhibitions, and performances
  • To help students collaborate with the community in educational and social programs such as library reading, school programs, and civic involvement
  • To foster community spirit and pride
  • To develop appreciation for and preservation of the historical heritage of our community


We value:

  • Arts and culture as key factors in creating a healthy, thriving community.
  • Art, drama and music as fundamental components of a good education.
  • Knowledge of and appreciation for our unique heritage.
  • Participation and pride in events that build community spirit.
  • Collaboration with other associations and organizations that support our mission.

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The Vernonia Hands On Art Center

Charter, Revised June 2014

Article I – Name

The name of this organization shall be the VERNONIA HANDS ON ART CENTER.

Article II – Mission Statement

The mission of the VERNONIA HANDS ON ART CENTER is to provide a high quality learning environment that celebrates the creative spirit by exposing the community to the arts and honors the community’s heritage.

VERNONIA HANDS ON ART CENTER is a non-membership corporation organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding sections of any future federal tax code.

No part of the net earnings of the VERNONIA HANDS ON ART CENTER shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its board members, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

Upon the dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose, any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

Article III – Board Members/Officers

  1. The officers of this organization shall be president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer.
  2. The president/director may be paid by independent contract approved by the board.
  3. Officers shall not receive any compensation for any service rendered to this organization in their official capacity.
  4. Duties:
  • President: Shall preside at all meetings and appoint committees as needed, oversee ART CENTER programs, and fundraising.
  • Vice-President: Shall occupy the position of President and perform the duties of the President if she/he is unable to perform the duties of the office for any reason.
  • Treasurer:
  • Shall receive all monies and deposit the same in a bank recommended by the officers.
  • Disburse all monies in payment of the organization’s obligation on authority given by the officers. All payments shall be by check and each check shall be signed by the Treasurer; checks over $5,000 shall countersigned by the Secretary.
  • Have custody and maintain general records of all organization receipts and disbursements.
  • Prepare and submit periodic financial reports to the organization officers and board members as requested.
  • Perform duties assigned by the President of the board.
  • Secretary: Shall have custody and maintain general records of the organization including minutes of meetings and related actions.

Article IV – Elections

Officers of the organization shall be elected annually at a meeting called for that purpose. Elections shall take place no later than February 15 of each year. The election will be by plurality vote of those Board members present and voting. The officers elected will take office on March 1 and shall hold office for one year or until their successors shall have been elected.

Article V – Meetings

Meetings of the organization shall be upon call by the President. The President shall also call for a meeting when requested to do so by any other officer.

Article VI – Parliamentary Procedure

Generally meetings and official business may be conducted in an informal manner. If there are any questions of order or procedure, Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall be used to determine correctness of action.

Article VII – Amendments and Bylaws

This charter and any bylaws that may be adopted may be amended at any regular or special meeting of the organization by affirmative vote of the majority of officers and board members present and voting.

Article VII – Advisory Council

  1. The President shall appoint committees comprised of Board members in the areas of fundraising, development of public relations and advice regarding the ART CENTER development. Meetings of the Advisory Council shall be at the direction of the President.
  2. No Council member shall receive any compensation for any service rendered to this organization in his/her official capacity.

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Board Attendance Policy


Regular “in-person” attendance at the Vernonia Hands on Art (HOA) board and committee meetings is essential in order to maintain continuity and cohesion in the regular business of the corporation. Technology (teleconferencing and online meeting formats) offers an alternative attendance option. However due to the nature of Board meetings which often include graphic presentations and intense discussions, in-person attendance is strongly encouraged.


This board attendance policy is intended to encourage regular attendance at HOA board and committee meetings and to provide procedures to deal with any failures in such attendance. The policy aims to ensure that board meetings will have necessary quorums, and that the business of the board and its committees receives input from the various stake holder communities represented on the board.


Board and committee members are expected to demonstrate their commitment to HOA mission and goals by dependable attendance at meetings of the board or committee(s) on which they sit except when prevented by unforeseeable events. Attendance includes the use of technology to participate in meetings.


Board meetings are scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month. The Secretary will endeavor to notify members of forthcoming meetings with meeting minutes and an agenda prior to the set date of the meeting.

Board members may attend meetings via telephone conference or via the Internet. Although regular attendance in person is essential to accomplish the board’s work, the board does recognize individual situations and circumstances that may necessitate attendance online via telephone or the Web. Telephone and online attendance will be more effective if a member remembers to:

  • Announce to the meeting if he/she is leaving the meeting before adjournment.
  • Identify himself / herself before speaking.
  • Operate his or her telephone conference line on “mute,” except when speaking (this will limit distracting outside noises).

In situations where a board member is prevented from attending any board meeting, he / she should notify the another board member of their intended absence.

Designating an Attendee

When a member is unable to attend, but is aware of an action or vote which may be imminent, they may provide to the board secretary a short statement and an indication of stance to vote. The secretary will read the passage during discussion of the motion.

Attendance Failure

If a board member consistently fails to attend meetings, then the chair shall discuss the member’s difficulties with him/her, and attempt to resolve them. If the board member does not wish to continue on the board, the chair will request that a letter of

resignation be given within two weeks. The member’s response will promptly be shared by the chair with the entire board at the next board meeting. The board will promptly initiate a process to begin recruiting a new board member.


It is the responsibility of the board chair to monitor the attendance of each member and to issue warnings as appropriate.

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Non-Discrimination Policy

The Vernonia Hands On Art Center (HOA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. HOA is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination in employment and opportunity because of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or age.

The Board President has issued the following policy stating the HOA’s views in this matter:

It is the policy of HOA to:

  • Strictly follow personnel procedures that will ensure equal opportunity for all people without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, ancestry, marital status, disability, veteran or draft status;
  • Make reasonable accommodations wherever necessary for all employees or applicants with disabilities, provided that the individual is otherwise qualified to safely perform the duties and assignments connected with the job and provided that any accommodations made do not require significant difficulty or expense.
  • Achieve understanding and acceptance of HOA’s policy on Equal Employment Opportunity by all employees and by the communities in which the company operates;
  • Thoroughly investigate instances of alleged discrimination and take corrective action if warranted;
  • Be continually alert to identify and correct any practices by individuals that are at variance with the intent of the Nondiscrimination Policy.

At this time, HOA would like to reaffirm this policy and call upon its Board of Directors to effectively pursue the policy as stated.

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Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The Vernonia Hands-On Art Center (HOA) is firmly committed to diversity in staffing and the maintenance of an environment free of discrimination.  We provide opportunities to all employees based on merit, qualifications, and job requirements. HOA is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity in all aspects of employment to all persons without regard to gender, pregnancy, age, color, race, national origin, ancestry, marital status, religion, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, medical condition, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic.

This policy governs all aspects of employment at HOA, including hiring, assignments, training, promotions, compensation, employee benefits, discipline, and discharge. Any individual who has concerns or believes this policy has been violated should contact his or her supervisor or the Board President promptly.