ACCESS THE ARTS, INC.
A NON-PROFIT CORPORATE
ARTICLE I. NAME OF ORGANIZATION
The name of the corporation shall be Access the Arts.
ARTICLE II. CORPORATE PURPOSE
Section 1. Nonprofit Purpose
Thiscorporation is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific 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 the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Section 2. Specific Purpose
Access the Arts provides opportunities for underserved people in Northeast Ohio to engage in and be inspired by the arts. By their nature, the arts embrace people of all income levels and cultural backgrounds. We remove the barriers to experiences in the arts by providing free programs to at-risk youth, older adults, and those with special needs. We celebrate the fine and performing arts in communities and connect artists with groups for education and inspiration.
Section 3. Powers
The corporation may have the power, directly or indirectly, alone or in conjunction or cooperation with others, to do any and all lawful acts which may be necessary or convenient to affect the charitable purposes, for which the corporation is organized, and to aid or assist other organizations or persons whose activities further accomplish, foster, or attain such purposes. The powers of the corporation may include, but not be limited to, the acceptance of contributions from the public and private sectors, whether ﬁnancial or in-kind contributions.
Section 4. Nonproﬁt Status and Exempt Activities Limitation
(a)Nonproﬁt Legal Status. Access the Arts is an Ohio non-proﬁt private beneﬁt corporation, recognized as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.
(b)Exempt Activities Limitation. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Bylaws, no director, ofﬁcer, employee, member, or representative of this corporation may take any action or carry on any activity by or on behalf of the corporation not permitted to be taken or carried on by an organization exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as it now exists or may be amended, or by any organization contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of such Code and Regulations as it now exists or may be amended. No part of the net earnings of the corporation may inure to the beneﬁt or be distributable to any director, ofﬁcer, member, or other private person, except that the corporation may 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 Articles of Incorporation and these Bylaws.
(c) Distribution Upon Dissolution. Upon termination or dissolution of Access the Arts, any assets lawfully available for distribution may be distributed to one (1) or more qualifying organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the 1986 Internal Revenue Code (or described in any corresponding provision of any successor statute) which organization or organizations have a charitable purpose which, at least generally, includes a purpose similar to the terminating or dissolving corporation. The organization to receive the assets of Access the Arts hereunder may be selected in the discretion of a majority of the managing body of the corporation, and if its members cannot so agree, then the recipient organization may be selected pursuant to a veriﬁed petition in equity ﬁled in a court of proper jurisdiction against Access the Arts, by one (1) or more of its managing body which veriﬁed petition may contain such statements as reasonably indicate the applicability of this section. The court upon a ﬁnding that this section is applicable may select the qualifying organization or organizations to receive the assets to be distributed, giving preference if practicable to organizations located within the State of Ohio. In the event that the court may ﬁnd that this section is applicable but that there is no qualifying organization known to it which has a charitable purpose, which, at least generally, includes a purpose similar to Access the Arts, then the court may direct the distribution of its assets lawfully available for distribution to the Treasurer of the State of Ohio to be added to the general fund.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Eligibility for Membership
Application for voting membership shall be open to any current resident, property owner, or business operator, in the regional area that supports the purpose statement in Article II. Membership may be granted after an application is received and with a majority approval from the voting membership.
Section 2. Annual Dues
The amount required for annual dues shall be $20.00 each year, unless changed by a majority vote of the members at an annual meeting of the full membership. Continued membership is contingent upon being up-to-date on membership dues.
Section 3. Rights of Members
Each member shall be eligible to appoint one voting representative to cast the member’s vote in association elections.
Section 4. Resignation and Termination
Any member may resign by filing a written resignation with the secretary. Resignation shall not relieve a member of unpaid dues, or other charges previously accrued. A member can have their membership terminated by a majority vote of the membership.
Section 5. Non-voting Membership
The board shall have the authority to establish and define non-voting categories of membership. Ad hoc volunteers are welcomed but will have no voting privileges.
ARTICLE IV. MEETINGS OF MEMBERS
Section 1. Regular Meetings
Regular meetings of the members shall be held quarterly at minimum, at a time and place designated by the chair.
Section 2. Annual Meetings
An annual meeting of the members shall take place in the month of November, the specific date, time and location of which will be designated by the chair. At the annual meeting the members shall elect directors and officers, receive reports on the activities of the association, and determine the direction of the association for the coming year.
Section 3. Special Meetings
Special meetings may be called by the chair, the Executive Committee, or a simple majority of the board of directors. A petition signed by five percent (5%) of voting members may also call a special meeting.
Section 4 Notice of Meetings
Printed notice of each meeting shall be given to each voting member, by paper or digital mail, not less than two weeks prior to the meeting.
Section 5. Quorum
A quorum for a meeting of the members shall consist of at least fifty percent (50)% of the active membership.
Section 6. Voting
All issues to be voted on shall be decided by a simple majority of those present at the meeting in which the vote takes place.
ARTICLE V. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 1. General Powers
The affairs of the Corporation shall be managed by its Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall have control of and be responsible for the management of the affairs and property of the corporation.
Section 2. Number, Tenure, Requirements, and Qualifications
The number of directors shall be fixed from time-to-time by the directors but shall consist of no less than three (3) and nor more than eight (8) including the following officers: President, Vice-President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer.
The members of the Board of Directors shall, upon election, immediately enter upon the performance of their duties and shall continue in office until their successors shall be duly elected and qualified. All members of the Board of Directors and Advisory Council must be approved by a majority vote of the members present and voting. No vote on new members of the Board of Directors, or Advisory Council, shall be held unless a quorum of the Board of Directors is present as provided in Section 6 of this Article.
Each member of the Board of Directors shall be a member of the Corporation whose membership dues are paid in full and shall hold office for up to a two-year term as submitted by the nominations committee.
Newly elected members of the Board of Directors who have not served before shall serve initial one-year terms. At the conclusion of the initial one-year term, members of the Board of Directors may serve additional two-year terms. Their terms shall be staggered so that at the time of each annual meeting, the terms of approximately one-third (1/3) of all members of the Board of Directors shall expire.
Each member of the Board of Directors shall attend at least 2 out of 4 quarterly meetings per year.
Section 3. Regular and Annual Meetings
The board will meet quarterly at minimum and annually in November to finalize the yearly budget.
Section 4. Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by or at the request of the President or any two members of the Board of Directors. The person or persons authorized to call special meetings of the Board of Directors may fix any location, as the place for holding any special meeting of the Board called by them.
Section 5. Notice
Notice of any special meeting of the Board of Directors shall be given at least two (2) days in advance of the meeting by telephone or digitally. Any Director may waive notice of any meeting. The attendance of a Director at any meeting shall constitute a waiver of notice of such meeting, except where a Director attends a meeting for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business because the meeting is not lawfully called or convened. Neither the business to be transacted at, nor the purpose of, any regular meeting of the Board of Directors need be specified in the notice or waiver of notice of such meeting, unless specifically required by law or by these by-laws.
Section 6. Quorum
The presence, in person of a majority of current members of the Board of Directors shall be necessary at any meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business, but a lesser number shall have power to adjourn to a specified later date without notice. The act of a majority of the members of the Board of Directors present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Board of Directors, unless the act of a greater number is required by law or by these by-laws.
Section 7. Forfeiture
Any member of the Board of Directors who fails to fulfill any of his or her requirements as set forth in Section 2 of this Article by August 1st shall automatically forfeit his or her seat on the Board. The Secretary shall notify the Director in writing that his or her seat has been declared vacant, and the Board of Directors may forthwith immediately proceed to fill the vacancy. Members of the Board of Directors who are removed for failure to meet any or all of the requirements of Section 2 of this Article are not entitled to vote at the annual meeting and are not entitled to the procedure outlined in Section 14 of this Article in these by-laws.
Section 8. Vacancies
Whenever any vacancy occurs in the Board of Directors it shall be filled without undue delay by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board of Directors at a regular meeting. Vacancies may be created and filled according to specific methods approved by the Board of Directors.
Section 9. Compensation
Members of the Board of Directors shall not receive any compensation for their services as directors. Reasonable reimbursement may be provided to directors for expenses incurred in conjunction with carrying out board responsibilities, such as travel expenses, or receipts of fees paid. Directors are not restricted from being remunerated for professional services provided to the corporation. Such remuneration may be reasonable and fair to the corporation and must be reviewed and approved in accordance with the board Conflict of Interest policy and law.
Section 10. Informal Action by Directors
Any action required by law to be taken at a meeting of the Directors, or any action which may be taken at a meeting of Directors, may be taken without a meeting if a consent in writing, setting forth the action so taken, shall be given by two-thirds (2/3) of all of the Directors following notice of the intended action to all members of the Board of Directors.
Section 11. Confidentiality
Directors shall not discuss or disclose information about the Corporation or its activities to any person or entity unless such information is already a matter of public knowledge, such person or entity has a need to know, or the disclosure of such information is in furtherance of the Corporations’ purposes or can reasonably be expected to benefit the Corporation. Directors shall use discretion and good business judgment in discussing the affairs of the Corporation with third parties. Without limiting the foregoing, Directors may discuss upcoming fundraisers and the purposes and functions of the Corporation, including but not limited to accounts on deposit in financial institutions.
Section 12. Advisory Council
An Advisory Council may be created whose members shall be elected by the members of the Board of Directors annually but who shall have no duties, voting privileges, nor obligations for attendance at regular meetings of the Board. Advisory Council members may attend said meetings at the invitation of a member of the Board of Directors. Members of the Advisory Council shall possess the desire to serve the community and support the work of the Corporation by providing expertise and professional knowledge. Members of the Advisory Council shall comply with the confidentiality policy set forth herein.
Section 13. Parliamentary Procedure
Any question concerning parliamentary procedure at meetings shall be determined by the President by reference to Robert’s Rules of Order.
Section 14. Removal.
Any member of the Board of Directors or members of the Advisory Council may be removed with or without cause, at any time, by vote of three-quarters (3/4) of the members of the Board of Directors if in their judgment the best interest of the Corporation would be served thereby. Each member of the Board of Directors must receive written notice of the proposed removal at least ten (10) days in advance of the proposed action. An officer who has been removed as a member of the Board of Directors shall automatically be removed from office.
Members of the Board of Directors who are removed for failure to meet the minimum requirements in Section 2 of this Article in these by-laws automatically forfeit their positions on the Board pursuant to Section 7 of this Article and are not entitled to the removal procedure outlined in Section 14 of this Article.
ARTICLE VI. OFFICERS
The officers of this Board shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. All officers must have the status of active members of the Board.
Section 1. President
The President shall preside at all meetings of the membership. The President shall have the following duties:
a. He/She shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee, if possible.
b. He/She shall have general and active management of the business of this Board
c. He/She shall have general superintendence and direction of all other officers of this corporation and see that their duties are properly performed.
d. He/She shall submit a report of the operations of the program for the fiscal year to the Board and members at their annual meetings, and from time to time, shall report to the Board all matters that may affect this program.
e. He/She shall be Ex-officio member of all standing committees and shall have the power and duties usually vested in the office of the President.
Section 2. Vice-President
The Vice-President shall be vested with all the powers and shall perform all the duties of the President during the absence of the latter. The Vice-Presidents duties are:
a. He/She shall have the duty of chairing their perspective committee and such other duties as may, from time to time, be determined by the Board. He/She will also chair the Public Relations committee.
Section 3. Secretary
The Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Board of Directors, and all meetings of members, and assisted by a staff member, will act as a clerk thereof. The Secretary’s duties shall consist of:
a. He/She shall record all votes and minutes of all proceedings in a book to be kept for that purpose. He/She in concert with the President shall make the arrangements for all meetings of the Board, including the annual meeting of the organization.
b. Assisted by a staff member, he/she shall send notices of all meetings to the members of the Board and shall take reservations for the meetings.
c. He/She shall perform all official correspondence from the corporation as may be prescribed by the Board or the President.
d. He/She shall keep record of all board of directors, members, ad hoc volunteers, non-voting members, and advisory council members.
Section 4. Treasurer
The Treasures duties shall be:
a. He/She shall submit for the Finance and Fund Development Committee approval of all expenditures of funds raised by the corporation, proposed capital expenditures (equipment and furniture), by the staff of the agency.
b. He/She shall present a complete and accurate report of the finances raised by this corporation at each meeting of the members, or at any other time upon request to the Board.
c. He/She shall have the right of inspection of the funds resting in any bank account used by Access the Arts, Inc. and to write checks from the checking account.
d. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to assist in direct audits of the funds of the program according to funding source guidelines and generally accepted accounting principles.
e. He/She shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board or the President under whose supervision he/she shall be.
Section 5. Election of Officers
The Nominating Committee shall submit at the meeting prior to the annual meeting the names of those persons for the respective offices of the Board. Nominations shall also be received from the floor after the report of the Nominating Committee. The election shall be held at the annual meeting of the Board. Those officers elected shall serve a term of one year initially, with subsequent terms being two-years, commencing at the next meeting following the annual meeting.
Section 6. Removal of Officer
The Advisory Board with the concurrence of 3/4 of the members voting at the meeting may remove any officer of the Board of Directors and elect a successor for the unexpired term. No officer of the Board of Directors shall be expelled without an opportunity to be heard and notice of such motion of expulsion shall be given to the member in writing twenty (20) days prior to the meeting at which motion shall be presented, setting forth the reasons of the Board for such expulsion.
Section 7. Vacancies
The Nominating Committee shall also be responsible for nominating persons to fill vacancies which occur between annual meetings, including those of officers. Nominations shall be sent in writing to members of the Board at least two (2) weeks prior to the next meeting at which the election will be held. The persons so elected shall hold membership or office for the unexpired term in respect of which such vacancy occurred.
ARTICLE VII. COMMITTEES
Section 1. Committee Formation
The board may create committees as needed, such as fundraising, housing, public relations, data collection, etc. The board chair appoints all committee chairs.
Section 2. Executive Committee
The four officers serve as the members of the Executive Committee. Except for the power to amend the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, the Executive Committee shall have all the powers and authority of the board of directors in the intervals between meetings of the board of directors and is subject to the direction and control of the full board.
Section 3. Finance Committee
The treasurer is the chair of the Finance Committee, which could include other board members. The Finance Committee is responsible for developing and reviewing fiscal procedures, fundraising plans, and the annual budget with staff and other board members. The board must approve the budget and all expenditures must be within budget. Any major change in the budget must be approved by the board or the Executive Committee. The fiscal year shall be the calendar year. Annual reports are required to be submitted to the board showing income, expenditures, and pending income. The financial records of the organization are public information and shall be made available to the membership, board members, and the public.
Section 4. Non-Director Officers
The Board of Directors may designate additional officer positions of the corporation and may appoint and assign duties to other non-director officers of the corporation.
ARTICLE VIII. – Conflict of Interest and Compensation
Section 1: Purpose
The purpose of the conflict-of-interest policy is to protect this tax-exempt organization’s (Organization) interest when it is contemplating entering into a transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of an officer or director of the Organization or might result in a possible excess benefit transaction. This policy is intended to supplement but not replace any applicable state and federal laws governing conflict of interest applicable to nonprofit and charitable organizations.
Section 2: Definitions
a. Interested Person
Any director, principal officer, or member of a committee with governing board delegated powers, who has a direct or indirect financial interest, as defined below, is an interested person.
b. Financial Interest
A person has a financial interest if the person has, directly or indirectly, through business, investment, or family:
1. An ownership or investment interest in any entity with which the Organization has a transaction or arrangement,
2. A compensation arrangement with the Organization or with any entity or individual with which the Organization has a transaction or arrangement, or
3. A potential ownership or investment interest in, or compensation arrangement with, any entity or individual with which the Organization is negotiating a transaction or arrangement.
Compensation includes direct and indirect remuneration as well as gifts or favors that are not insubstantial.
A financial interest is not necessarily a conflict of interest. A person who has a financial interest may have a conflict of interest only if the appropriate governing board or committee decides that a conflict of interest exists.
Section 3. Procedures
a. Duty to Disclose. In connection with any actual or possible conflict of interest, an interested person must disclose the existence of the financial interest and be given the opportunity to disclose all material facts to the directors and members of committees with governing board delegated powers considering the proposed transaction or arrangement.
b. Determining Whether a Conflict of Interest Exists. After disclosure of the financial interest and all material facts, and after any discussion with the interested person, he/she shall leave the governing board or committee meeting while the determination of a conflict of interest is discussed and voted upon. The remaining board or committee members shall decide if a conflict of interest exists.
c. Procedures for Addressing the Conflict of Interest
1. An interested person may make a presentation at the governing board or committee meeting, but after the presentation, he/she shall leave the meeting during the discussion of, and the vote on, the transaction or arrangement involving the possible conflict of interest.
2. The chairperson of the governing board or committee shall, if appropriate, appoint a disinterested person or committee to investigate alternatives to the proposed transaction or arrangement.
3. After exercising due diligence, the governing board or committee shall determine whether the Organization can obtain with reasonable efforts a more advantageous transaction or arrangement from a person or entity that would not give rise to a conflict of interest.
4. If a more advantageous transaction or arrangement is not reasonably possible under circumstances not producing a conflict of interest, the governing board or committee shall determine by a majority vote of the disinterested directors whether the transaction or arrangement is in the Organization’s best interest, for its own benefit, and whether it is fair and reasonable. In conformity with the above determination it shall make its decision as to whether to enter into the transaction or arrangement.
d. Violations of the Conflicts of Interest Policy
1. If the governing board or committee has reasonable cause to believe a member has failed to disclose actual or possible conflicts of interest, it shall inform the member of the basis for such belief and afford the member an opportunity to explain the alleged failure to disclose.
2. If, after hearing the member’s response and after making further investigation as warranted by the circumstances, the governing board or committee determines the member has failed to disclose an actual or possible conflict of interest, it shall take appropriate disciplinary and corrective action.
Section 4. Records of Proceedings
The minutes of the governing board and all committees with board delegated powers shall contain:
a. The names of the persons who disclosed or otherwise were found to have a financial interest in connection with an actual or possible conflict of interest, the nature of the financial interest, any action taken to determine whether a conflict of interest was present, and the governing board’s or committee’s decision as to whether a conflict of interest in fact existed.
b. The names of the persons who were present for discussions and votes relating to the transaction or arrangement, the content of the discussion, including any alternatives to the proposed transaction or arrangement, and a record of any votes taken in connection with the proceedings.
Section 5. Compensation
a. A voting member of the governing board who receives compensation, directly or indirectly, from the Organization for services is precluded from voting on matters pertaining to that member’s compensation.
b. A voting member of any committee whose jurisdiction includes compensation matters and who receives compensation, directly or indirectly, from the Organization for services is precluded from voting on matters pertaining to that member’s compensation.
c. No voting member of the governing board or any committee whose jurisdiction includes compensation matters and who receives compensation, directly or indirectly, from the Organization, either individually or collectively, is prohibited from providing information to any committee regarding compensation.
Section 6. Periodic Reviews
To ensure the Organization operates in a manner consistent with charitable purposes and does not engage in activities that could jeopardize its tax-exempt status, periodic reviews shall be conducted. The periodic reviews shall, at a minimum, include the following subjects:
a. Whether compensation arrangements and benefits are reasonable, based on competent survey information, and the result of arm’s length bargaining.
b. Whether partnerships, joint ventures, and arrangements with management organizations conform to the Organization’s written policies, are properly recorded, reflect reasonable investment or payments for goods and services, further charitable purposes and do not result in inurement, impermissible private benefit or in an excess benefit transaction.
Section 7. Use of Outside Experts
When conducting the periodic reviews, the Organization may, but need not, use outside advisors. If outside experts are used, their use shall not relieve the governing board of its responsibility for ensuring periodic reviews are conducted.
ARTICLE X. INDEMNIFICATION
Section 1. General
To the full extent authorized under the laws of the State of Ohio, the corporation shall indemnify any director, officer, employee, or agent, or former member, director, officer, employee, or agent of the corporation, or any person who may have served at the corporation’s request as a director or officer of another corporation (each of the foregoing members, directors, officers, employees, agents, and persons is referred to in this Article individually as an “indemnitee”), against expenses actually and necessarily incurred by such indemnitee in connection with the defense of any action, suit, or proceeding in which that indemnitee is made a party by reason of being or having been such member, director, officer, employee, or agent, except in relation to matters as to which that indemnitee shall have been adjudged in such action, suit, or proceeding to be liable for negligence or misconduct in the performance of a duty. The foregoing indemnification shall not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which an indemnitee may be entitled under any bylaw, agreement, resolution of the Board of Directors, or otherwise.
Section 2. Expenses
Expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) incurred in defending a civil or criminal action, suit, or proceeding may be paid by the corporation in advance of the final disposition of such action, suit, or proceeding, if authorized by the Board of Directors, upon receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of the indemnitee to repay such amount if it shall ultimately be determined that such indemnitee is not entitled to be indemnified hereunder.
Section 3. Insurance
The corporation may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is or was a member, director, officer, employee, or agent against any liability asserted against such person and incurred by such person in any such capacity or arising out of such person’s status as such, whether or not the corporation would have the power or obligation to indemnify such person against such liability under this Article.
ARTICLE XI. BOOKS AND RECORDS
The corporation shall keep complete books and records of account and minutes of the proceedings of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Articles of Incorporation
The Articles may be amended in any manner at any regular or special meeting of the Board of Directors, provided that specific written notice of the proposed amendment of the Articles setting forth the proposed amendment or a summary of the changes to be effected thereby shall be given to each director at least three days in advance of such a meeting if delivered personally, by facsimile, or by e-mail or at least five days if delivered by mail. As required by the Articles, any amendment to Article III or Article VI of the Articles shall require the affirmative vote of all directors then in office. All other amendments of the Articles shall require the affirmative vote of an absolute majority of directors then in office.
Section 2. Bylaws
The Board of Directors may amend these Bylaws by majority vote at any regular or special meeting. Written notice setting forth the proposed amendment or summary of the changes to be affected thereby shall be given to each director within the time and the manner provided for the giving of notice of meetings of directors.
ADOPTION OF BYLAWS
I do hereby certify that the above stated Bylaws were approved by the Board of Directors and constitute a complete copy of the Bylaws of this corporation.
ADOPTED AND APPROVED by the Board of Directors on this 5th of March, 2023..
Jane Back, President
Steve Back, Vice-President
Janet George, Treasurer
Julie Spaite, Secretary
Diane Dermody, Director
Jamie Winebrenner, Director
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