Hello, members and supporters of the Professional Audiobook Narrators Association! This is the first of many updates from your Chair of the Board -- a kind of State of the Union (which I've fondly dubbed the State of the Trade) that I plan to write quarterly, or more frequently if there's anything significant to share. I understand the importance of transparency, and as the Board's first Chair, I'd like to set the precedent of regular updates to our members. In our very first week, we exploded to 300+ members -- and last week, we hit 400. This incredible feat could not have been accomplished without the community's enthusiastic support. Thank you to everyone who's liked and shared our social media posts or made their own. Thank you to the coaches and producers who've generously donated to the giveaways. Thank you to the many non-narrators who've expressed their support. It was really beautiful to see this community come together. I know things may have seemed quiet the past two months, but we have been bustling with activity. PANA is a membership-driven organization. Everything happens as a result of our volunteer committees, so getting our committees off the ground has been our biggest focus over the past six weeks. All the committees had their first meeting in November and will continue to meet monthly until their mandates are well underway. Here’s a brief roundup of what the committees have already accomplished:
Advocacy In its first meetings, the Advocacy Committee defined its general focus and formed five subcommittees, each dedicated to strengthening ties or accomplishing goals with a certain subset of our industry and generally raising the public's awareness of what we do and our profession. The Committee has some ambitious goals, but members have already shown themselves to be focused, knowledgeable, and willing to put in the work.
Awards The Awards Committee jumped right into planning a peer-reviewed awards ceremony that will truly celebrate the passion and talent in our community. After defining the scope of the awards, committee members started brainstorming award categories. In addition to traditional genre categories, they've created ideas for new categories that will put a spotlight on our thriving community in creative and refreshing ways.
Communications Communications Committee members immediately leaped into the nitty-gritty of their mandate, assigning members to various tasks, such as website maintenance and social media presence, and developing protocols for the committee's necessary and important work. Members have also begun discussing the creation of PANA's logo.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee discussed the key issues diverse members of the narrator community face and how best to educate those in our industry, including PANA members, on these issues. The committee has lots of great ideas about how to best serve this portion of the narration community.
Education The Education Committee's first goal is to develop an extensive resources section on the members' portion of the PANA website that will allow members to easily find information on accents and pronunciation, as well as technical guides and much more.
Events The Events Committee has been having a blast brainstorming ideas for all kinds of member events, from networking events to charitable endeavors to chances for narrators to gather and get to know each other in new, fun, and interesting ways.
Membership The Membership Committee has been working on ways to welcome all 400 of our new members and brainstorming infrastructure to ensure that all members feel heard and that their needs are met – especially the needs of underserved members of our community, such as those outside the U.S.
Sponsorship The Sponsorship Committee has started creating tiers for different levels of sponsorship. Sponsorships enable non-narrators, such as publishers, proofers, engineers, and others, to help PANA build its vision and accomplish its goals. We're hoping to roll out these tier options in the coming months.
More updates to come soon!