Traditional Fine Arts Organization

Institution Outreach Project



Procedure for outreach to college art history instructors


1. Finding names

After agreeing with Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) on a state to work on, each college with an art history major from the master progress list may then be accessed by Google search with keywords: [college's name + American art history faculty + email] or a similar keyword series of words.

Or, the volunteer may the access the college's website home page to begin the search for email addressees. When studying websites in order to locate email addresses of appropriate art history faculty members, there are varied approaches. The "academics" page, or a page similarly titled, may lead to a "fine arts" or "arts" or "art history" page, which in turn may lead to a "faculty" or "people" page with names and email addresses of faculty with emphasis on American art history. Sometimes, the Google search technique won't work and instead will lead to the homepage of the college, requiring search through the college website to find the faculty.

Volunteers select only faculty members that include American art history as an area of interest. Faculty that have interest in American representational art history are the best contacts, although this level of detail may be too difficult to discern. Examples of specialization within American art history, more likely at larger universities, may include:

Instructors for "studio" art, who teach how to create art, are always ignored. Examples are instructors who teach how to create photographs, ceramics, textiles, painting, sculpture, etc. Also, art history faculty that only specialize in non-American art are ignored. Examples are Medieval art, European art, Asian art, etc.

In addition, when a director of a campus art gallery or museum is found among faculty of an art history department, volunteers may check TFAO's Art Museum, Gallery and Art Center index to see if an article or essay has been published in connection with the gallery or museum. If so, the director is added to the email addressees for the art history department. The director may be the only addressee for the college.


The Google keyword approach is likely more productive than accessing a college through its home page.
If no faculty email addresses are found, as a last resort there may be a general email address for the department that teaches art history.

After each state is completed, subsequent states may be agreed to between TFAO and the volunteer.


2. Choosing names or departments

Only certain department personnel are included as addressees in outreach letters. Appropriate addressees and their identification codes are:

AI: instructor with American art history as a field of interest
G: only a general email address for the department teaching art history
N: no email address for the department teaching art history

See Tallying addressees by code and reporting below for use of identification codes.


3. Protocol for preparing and sending emails

TFAO may first forward a copy of the proposed template design to the volunteer, or the volunteer creates a template letter to be sent to TFAO. In either case, the volunteer sends a copy of the template that will be used for creating letters to colleges for TFAO's review and approval prior to sending emails to colleges.

To begin the process of preparing an email to be sent to a museum, the template text with links and TFAO logo embedded in it, is pasted onto a blank new message.Each email produced from the template that will be sent to a college will have the blue and white TFAO logo at the bottom of the letter and hyperlinks to Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Resource Library and authors. (right: TFAO logo)


To prevent incomplete emails being sent, the body of the letter is copied from the template first, the subject line second, and then the email addresses are added in the appropriate field.

In each letter to be sent, all faculty email addresses are entered in the primary addressee (To:) field. The cc field is not used. There is always a bcc for each letter sent to for tallying and analysis.

Only one letter is sent to each college. For universities with multiple campuses, only one letter is sent to each campus.

When there are multiple faculty addressees, the default salutation for a letter is "Greetings from TFAO:" However, if there are only one or two faculty members for the campus, a more personal greeting may be used such as "Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones:"


4. Tallying addressees by code and reporting

Staff identification codes, and the date each email is sent (mm/yy), are recorded by the volunteer for each contacted college campus next to the name of the campus on the volunteer's segment of the progress list. After each state is completed (containing recorded codes) it is emailed to TFAO.

The volunteer will keep a copy of all emails sent to colleges and universities in a separate folder. The retained email addresses may be used again in future mailings.


Special note for upper class high school students and community college students:

Upper class high school students and community college students are welcome to volunteer for outreach to college art history instructors. There are several benefits to students beyond the satisfaction of bringing further awareness of TFAO's resources to college instructors. The student will learn

-- more about liberal arts colleges in states,

-- how to use a website with filters used by students seeking to learn about features of colleges,

-- how to navigate college websites to find email addresses of specific people and departments,

-- how to prepare, send and tally email letters to departments and people (project organization and execution),

-- about museums and the people who work at them,


-- will obtain service hours credits.


Note: College Art Association does not provide email addresses of members.

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Clip art courtesy of, Above photo of de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University © John Hazeltine.

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