Dear Sugar Art Show Supporters,
Due to reasons outside of our control the PNW Sugar Art Show is being postponed. We have been working diligently since August to get things pulled together for the best show the PNW has seen in some time. Our efforts have been successful but unfortunately we ran into unforeseen complications brought on by the initial government shut down.
The shut down delayed our organizational paperwork from being approved by the IRS and despite the re-opening, our paperwork is still pending. Our Treasurer has been diligently calling our IRS contact and he has a long backlog of filings to deal with.
The issue we ran into was that when we originally submitted our paperwork back in September we thought all was done and didn’t expect to have the IRS kick it back to us and tell us that due to the amount of money we would be giving away as an organization, and due to the charity component tied to our show, we didn’t qualify as a club and they required us to redo our paperwork and file as a 501c3 charity. At first this was disappointing as we had already done all our legal paperwork, bylaws, filed with the state, set up bank accounts etc, but when we learned we would now qualify for grants we had previously been turned down for it made jumping through additional hoops a little less painful. So we muddled through endless amounts of paperwork, had emergency meetings to redo our bylaws, hired a CPA to help with the paperwork and raced to get it back into the IRS as we were also working against financial deadlines that would significantly fund our show but those donors required we have our legal organizational paperwork in line. The next day the government shut down. We tried to be patient, but even with the government reopening our paperwork is still unapproved and we have now missed the deadline for the financial support we were counting on. Additionally, we cannot move forward with the venue because we are not recognized as an organization with out that paperwork. So we are regrouping and we have made the decision to push the show date out.
While we could move forward with a much smaller show, (if we were to get our paperwork approved soon) that’s not what we want to do. We also have observed that there is still some confusion over what organization is putting the show on. The feedback has been that people think its still the WASSA show. While the WASSA show and the people that put it on are fantastic, amazing people, we'd liked to change the perception and be recognized as a new show with a new format. The IRS setback, while extremely disappointing for our event, has also allowed us to look at things closer and make the changes we feel we need to make to ensure people understand that we are a new show.
We realize the limbo status of our paperwork could continue for some time and that the government could shut down again, as a result we are looking at dates in 2020 to ensure we do not run into any other issues. This will give us plenty of time to reapply to previous funding opiotns, sponosros/donors/grants and ensure we meet the deadlines of new grants and funding options identified. It will also allow us more time to work on the new judging program we are implementing with Nicholas Lodge, and to ensure competition rules are well thought out and organized for entrants.
Our board and members have also made the decision to look at alternate venue options outside of Everett and possibly closer to Seattle. The possibility of moving the venue may make it easier for travelers to fly in and out, as well as give visitors access to more things to do, restaurants to eat at and hotel options for their stay. It may also allow the PNW Sugar Art Show to accommodate a larger group, provide ample parking, easier move in for vendors, and take advantage of all that a city venue has to offer. We are exploring this option in an effort to better serve our attendees, vendors, instructors and allow us to attract more people due to a city location versus an industrial location.
We'd like to emphasize that we are simply changing the date and possibly the venue. The theme of the show will stay the same. The judges and teachers we spoke to have all been 100% supportive off the news and welcome the opportunity to be part of our show in 2020.
For now we have suspended ticket and vendor booth sales and have refunded those that have purchased tickets, booths and classes. Once we have a new date we will announce it and resume sales.
The goal of the PNW Sugar Artist Charity is to spread the knowledge and education of culinary arts. Having our organization as a 501c3 charity will allow us grants that will enable us to put on the best show possible and give us more funds to give away in the form of scholarship opportunities to those looking to continue their education in culinary or to begin a career in culinary with the desire for employment in the baking, pastry and confectionary art industry. As an organization we have identified the importance of giving back not just to our local community but to the industry as whole. We hope you all see the value in what it is we are trying to do for the community and industry and continue to support our show anyway you can.
PNW Sugar Artist Charity