Starting A New Chapter


To begin a new Chapter, two or more IEA members in good standing need to send a written request identifying the proposed name of the Chapter, names of the President and Vice President and the general or specific geographic area (example: Northern California vs. Oakland). The IEA Board votes, and the Chapter gets added to the Chapter page on the website

After the Chapter has been approved, the following information needs to be sent to the IEA Chapter/Membership Chair in a timely matter:

  • Official name of chapter 

  • Location

  • Names of President & Vice President (required)

  • Board members (if applicable) 

  • Main contact information (name, email and/or phone)

  • Media coverage: website, Facebook, Instagram

  • Short descriptive paragraph or mission statement

This information may be decided by the President & Vice President or by the new Chapter as a whole. It will be added to the Chapters page on the website, and the Membership & Chapters Chairperson will contact the president to address any questions or concerns.


At a minimum, the Chapter President and Vice President must be IEA members. IEA membership is encouraged for new Chapter members, but it is not mandatory.


When beginning, the President and Vice President should create a supportive idea of the Chapter’s mission. These attributes can be broad or specific, and can change over time. It all comes down to approach and vision. There are many ways of doing this.

Benefits of starting a new Chapter include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Create a more intimate community

  • Collectively develop a support system

  • Organize exhibitions

  • Develop an easy connection for critique groups

  • Learn new techniques and share tips

  • Share resources and ideas

  • Give members a comfortable space to grow artistically and professionally

  • Encourage and/or mentor members to organize and expand on these ideas


A Chapter needs many helping hands! Review the links on this page for a sample invitation letter and artist questionnaire. Using these, or something of your own creation, will help when you begin to plan activities for your members.

Productivity, leadership and the desire to learn new skills should be encouraged as opportunities arise within the Chapter at large, or in more intimate groups of artists. Consider a Board of Directors/Committee succession plan to distribute tasks evenly throughout the Chapter over time. Shadowing or leadership mentoring are other ways to encourage participation.

Consider other roles and/or internal committees for your Chapter, like: secretary, treasurer, exhibitions, field trips, marketing, PR, meeting planner and communications, to name a few. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do Chapter member need to join the IEA?

A. Yes and no.
 The two leads of your Chapter, like a President and Vice President, are required to be IEA members in good standing. Members at large are not required to be IEA Members. However, it is recommended, so that your Chapter members can take advantage of all IEA membership benefits.

Q. What are the benefits of being a member of the IEA?

A. See a full list of benefits here.

Q. Do I still have benefits if I don't join the IEA?

A. Yes, a few. Non-members have access to most of the IEA website, including the magazine, Wax Fusion. You can also enter juried exhibitions for a slightly larger fee. 

Q. Does a Chapter need to charge dues?

A. In short, no. Each Chapter decides what is best for their group. Do note that expenses will arise eventually, but your Chapter can decide the best way to handle it. Dues, contributions, donations or pay as you go - there are many possibilities.

Q. If charging dues, how is money handled within my Chapter?

A. You choose. There are many ways to handle the funds collected by your Chapter. We recommend finding someone to act as your Chapter’s Treasurer. You can then open a bank savings or checking account, work through Venmo, Apple Pay or PayPal.

Q. What are the duties of a Chapter Treasurer?

A. It depends on your Chapter operations. Here is a short list of some possible responsibilities for a Chapter’s Treasurer: recording transactions, reporting on finances at meetings, collecting membership dues or expenses as they arries, paying bills, meeting financial deadlines and banking.

Q. Does our Chapter need to be a non-profit?

A. No. Depending on where you live, achieving a non-profit status has various requirements. As a Chapter, you do not need non-profit status. If you’d like to explore this option, it is up to you and your Chapter’s members.

Q. How can I encourage participation and volunteerism?

A. The best way to encourage volunteerism is to be honest and direct. Present the job to be done, estimate the length of time that it will take someone to complete the task, and list the skills needed for success.  

Strengthen your Chapter by inviting people to work together. Working in pairs or small groups is less work and more fun!

You are not alone! The Membership & Chapters Chairperson is here to help!

Q. How often does our Chapter need to meet? And do we need to meet in person?

A. Make reasonable goals for meeting. Set yourself up for success! If you have a smaller group, you may be able to meet more frequently; a larger Chapter that is spread out geographically may need fewer meetings. Your Chapter can meet in person or virtually. These are all decisions that your Chapter can make together. Take advantage of apps like Zoom and Google Meet. Remember that people have busy lives, so be thoughtful when planning your full group gatherings.

Q. How can I find interested artists for a new Chapter?

A. Contact the Membership & Chapters Chairperson for more information on how to find artists in your area.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software