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Constitution and Bylaws



Approved July 2, 1984, Amended July 2007, as amended July 2022


Article I ‑ Name

The name of this organization is Friends‑in‑Art of the American Council of the Blind, hereinafter referred to as F.I.A.


Article II ‑ Affiliation

F.I.A. is a special interest affiliate of the American Council of the Blind.


Article Ill ‑ Purpose

Section 1. The basic purpose of this

organization is to stimulate appreciation of the participation by blind  and visually impaired persons in all types of art.

Section 2. F.I.A. believes that the most effective method of achieving this purpose is for sighted and blind persons to experience art together.

Section 3. F.I.A. will advocate for increased accessibility of all forms of art for people who are blind and visually impaired, and shall promote participation of blind and visually impaired people in all art forms, and in capacities including, but not limited to: arts patrons, producers of two and/or three-dimensional visual arts, musicians, singers, actors, other performance artists, fiber arts, and creative writing.


Article IV ‑ Membership

Section 1. Any person who endorses the goals of F.I.A. is eligible for membership; provided that a majority of the members shall be legally blind.

Section 2. Applications for membership shall be addressed to the Treasurer of F.I.A.

Section 3. Dues shall be payable with deadlines for payment set by the F.I.A. Board of Directors, and at a rate established by the Board of Directors.

Section 4. Each member of F.I.A. who has paid dues for the current year shall be eligible to one vote at membership meetings.


Article V ‑ Officers

Section 1. The officers of F.I.A. shall consist of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary and a Treasurer.

Section 2. The term of office for each officer shall be two years or until a successor shall have been named and shall have assumed office.

Section 3. The duties of officers shall be those generally associated with their positions as outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order Revised, and as otherwise set forth in this Constitution.

Section 4. A vacancy among the officers shall be filled by the Board of Directors, except that a vacancy in the office of President shall automatically be filled by succession by the Vice President.


Article VI ‑ Board of Directors

Section 1. The Board of Directors shall consist of the officers, the immediate Past President, the Editor of the Log of the Bridgetender if one has been named, and four or five elected Directors, this number to be determined at the discretion of the Board of Directors. If there is no editor of the Log of the Bridgetender, this position shall also constitute an additional elected Director.

Section 2. Each year two of the elected

Directors shall be elected for a term of two years, except that, if the Board of Directors has chosen to allow for five directors, three such directors shall be elected during years when officers are not standing for election. If there is no editor of the Log of the Bridgetender, this position shall constitute three directors standing for election each year.

Section 3. The Board of Directors may select an editor of the F.I.A. journal, the Log of the Bridgetender, who shall serve concurrently as a member of the Board of Directors. This appointment shall be reviewed every two years.

Section 4. The Board of Directors shall be the governing body of F.I.A. between annual membership meetings.

Section 5. A quorum of the Board of Directors shall consist of four members of said Board.

Section 6. The fiscal year for F.I.A. shall be the calendar year.


Article VII ‑ Meetings

Section 1. An annual membership meeting shall be held at approximately the same time and place as the annual meeting of the American

Council of the Blind. Meetings may be held in person, virtually by electronic means, or In a manner combining these procedures.

Section 2. A quorum at a membership meeting shall consist of ten members.


Article VIII – Voting

Section 1. Voting at meetings of the F.I.A. Board of directors, and at the annual meeting, shall be attended by a majority of members present.

Section 2. Votes shall be by voice unless the President, or other person presiding, is unable to determine a majority. In which case a poll shall be taken of all present and eligible voters.

Section 3. Votes may be called at any meeting of the F.I.A. Board of Directors or annual meeting provided that a quorum is present, and may be taken whether such meetings are held in-person, by virtual electronic means, or in a manner combining these procedures.


Article IX ‑ Parliamentary Authority and Procedures

Procedural matters not covered in this

constitution and bylaws shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order Revised.


Article X – Amendment

A proposed amendment to this constitution and

bylaws shall be submitted in writing to the

Secretary of F.I.A. at least 30 days prior to the annual convention or other membership meeting. The secretary shall cause a copy of the proposed amendment or amendments to be placed on the F.I.A. website at least two weeks in advance of the meeting. A proposed amendment shall be adopted if approved by two thirds of the members present and voting.


Article XI  – Dissolution

Section 1. This Organization may be dissolved by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors.

Section 2. If FIA is dissolved, any remaining funds of the Organization will be transmitted to the American Council of the Blind with instructions that the are to be used for promotion and showcasing the arts at future American Council of the Blind events.

Section 3.  In the event that the American Council of the Blind has already been dissolved at the time of F.I.A.’s dissolution, the F.I.A. Board of Directors shall select any other Organization or organizations having similar standing and purposes to receive any remaining funds.