Press "Enter" to skip to content

Constitution and Bylaws

Friends In Art, Inc.



The name of this organization shall be “Friends In Art, Inc. hereafter FIA.


ARTICLE II – Purpose

The purpose of this organization is to stimulate appreciation for the participation of  blind  and visually impaired people in all types of art and art forms. FIA believes that the most effective method of achieving this purpose is for sighted and blind persons to experience art together.

More specifically –:

  1. stimulate appreciation of the participation by blind and visually impaired persons in all types of art mediums.
  2. Organize and participate in events and activities in which both sighted and blind or low vision artists and audiences can appreciate art together.
  3. Give particular and special attention to the needs of artists living with blindness or low vision through education, mentorship, friendship, community, advocacy and living independently.


ARTICLE III – Membership

  1. Any person who is at least sixteen (16) years of age and who is concerned with the attainment of the goals and objectives set forth in Article II of this Constitution shall be entitled to membership in FIA provided that at least 60% of the membership consists of blind or visually impaired persons at all times.
  2. Each member shall be entitled to one (1) vote, to serve on committees and, except as provided in Article V and Article VI of this Constitution, to hold elective office.
  3. In order to become a member of FIA, one must first pay the full amount that the organization has designated as dues for that fiscal year.
  4. Any person who joins FIA and pays dues during the last three (3) months of any fiscal year shall be considered as “paid-up” for the fiscal year immediately following.
  5. In order to remain a member in good standing of FIA one must pay the full amount that the organization designates as dues for the fiscal year at the start of said fiscal year.
  6. Upon payment of delinquent dues pursuant to section 6, a member will immediately be deemed in good standing within this organization. There shall be no attendance or participation requirements of members to be deemed in good standing except as set forth in Article VI, section 1, b, concerning meeting attendance by members of the Board of Directors.
  7. High school students with an interest in the arts age sixteen (16) or older and/or individuals enrolled in post-secondary education related to the arts during the year of membership will pay a reduced membership fee set by the FIA board of directors.
  8. Lifetime members- Any member who is considered a lifetime member of ACB national shall not have to pay FIA dues.


ARTICLE IV – Meetings

  1. general membership meetings shall be held quarterly , except when designated by the Board of Directors or officers during an election year.
  2. Special meetings may be called by either the President or a majority of the Board of Directors at a time and place to be designated by the aforementioned.
  3. The FIA secretary will distribute the meeting information to members at least five (5) days prior to the date of such meeting. 4. The secretary shall send notification via email corresponding with the procedures set forth and determined in advance by the FIA board.
  4. quorum for all meetings of FIA shall have five (5) members in good standing at the time the meeting is scheduled to begin, including at least two officers and two members of the Board of Directors.


ARTICLE V – Officers

  1. This organization shall have four (4) officers:
  2. President
  3. Vice President
  4. Treasurer
  5. Secretary
  6. Election of officers shall be by a simple majority vote of the members present and voting at the election meeting which shall be held in November of each year.
  7. A nominating committee shall be appointed by the President no later than the regular meeting immediately preceding the election meeting.
  8. This committee shall present a slate of candidates for office to the Secretary in sufficient time for the Secretary to include the slate of candidates in the electronically distributed general meeting notice .
  9. Elections shall be conducted via the FIA Zoom online conferencing platform and recorded for accurate election purposes.
  10. Nominations from the floor shall also be accepted at the election meeting.
  11. Officers shall take office on January 1 following their election and serve for a term of three (3) years.
  12. No officer shall hold the same office for more than two (2) consecutive terms nor serve in more than one (1) elective office in FIA at anyone (1) time if three terms were already served in the previous position. The only exception to this rule is if there is no one else to fill these positions.
  13. The President and the Vice President of FIA must be either blind or visually impaired.
  14. The position of treasurer shall have no term limits.


ARTICLE VI – Board of Directors

  1. The four (4) officers plus four (4) Board members-at large and the Immediate Past President shall comprise the Board of Directors of FIA.
  2. If the position of Immediate past president is vacant and the vacancy term is open for at least a year,  a fifth board position shall be considered  to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term. A candidate shall be appointed by majority vote of the board of directors until the current president moves into the past president position, returning the number of officers and board directors to the total of nine (9). .
  3. Any member of the Board of Directors who is absent from more than three (3) consecutive meetings or does not maintain regular contact with the President of FIA shall be removed from said position. However, thirty (30) days prior to removal from office, said person shall be notified in writing by the President.
  4. at least Three  and no more than five Board members shall be elected at the same time as the officers and take office the same time as the officers. The board members may only serve two consecutive terms.
  5. Either the President or a majority of the Board of Directors may call a meeting of the Board of Directors and designate the time and place for such meeting provided that each member of the Board of Directors receives notice of such meeting at least three (3) days in advance thereof.

The quorum for a meeting of the Board of Directors shall be a majority of the members of the Board of Directors.

  1. The Board of Directors shall, at all times, be comprised of a majority of blind or visually impaired people.
  2. In the event that the position of President becomes vacant prematurely, the Vice President shall assume the Presidency for the duration of that term. In the event any other elected position of the Board of Directors becomes vacant prematurely, the remaining members of the Board of Directors shall choose a person to fill the vacant position until the next regularly scheduled election for that position.
  3. Unless otherwise specifically set forth herein, all decisions of the Board of Directors shall be made by the majority of those Board members present and voting at the meeting or a majority of the total Board if the Zoom video conferencing platform or other electronic means is seeking a vote.


ARTICLE VII – Fiscal Operation


  1. The fiscal year of FIA shall begin on January 1 and end on December 31 of each year.
  2. FIA shall establish and maintain a checking and savings account at a bank to be designated by the Board of Directors. All monies received by the organization shall be deposited therein, and all disbursements shall be made by check or electronic transactions with receipt drawn thereon.
  3. The current FIA treasurer and president shall represent this organization as authorized agents on banking and investment accounts.
  4. All disbursements of funds must first be approved by either the President or a majority of the Board of Directors. If the amount of the disbursement is to exceed $100.00, the amount must be approved by either a majority of the Board of Directors or the President and Treasurer.
  5. Dues will be set by the Board of Directors and voted on by the membership at a business meeting.


ARTICLE VIII – Procedure

Unless otherwise specifically set forth herein, all meetings, business functions, and business operations of FIA shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER REVISED EDITION, as revised from time to time.


ARTICLE IX – Affiliation

This organization is a special interest affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, Inc.


ARTICLE X – Amendment Procedure

  1. Any member of FIA may propose an amendment to this Constitution at any regular meeting; if the proposal is properly seconded, such amendment shall be voted upon by the membership at the next regular meeting.
  2. The Secretary shall provide each member with the text of any proposed amendment at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting at which the amendment is to be acted upon.
  3. Affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the voting members present shall be required in order to adopt a proposed amendment to this Constitution.
  4. The Secretary shall include notice as to the outcome of the vote(s) on any proposed amendment(s) to this Constitution with the written notice of the next meeting following the vote.

ARTICLE XI — Disaffiliation Procedure

Should FIA be dissolved, any remaining funds of the Organization shall be transmitted to the American Council of the Blind with instructions for the remaining funds to be used for the promotion of and highlighting the arts during future American Council of the Blind events. Should the American Council of the Blind already be dissolved at the time of FIA’s dissolution, the FIA Board of Directors shall select another Organization or organizations identifying  similar purposes and goals  regarding  blind or low vision artists to  allocate remaining funds at the time of dissolution


ARTICLE XI- Effective Date

January 10, 2024

This Constitution shall be the establishing document for Friends In Art, Inc., an affiliate of the American Council of the blind, Inc.