The Wessex Area of The Arts Society has 22 societies in the area from the coast of Dorset, covering part of Somerset, Bath, all of Wiltshire, and beyond the M4. Each society is autonomous, but all broadly follow the same theme of holding an hour long lecture once a month, usually 10 times a year, given by an accredited Arts Society lecturer. These lectures cover all manner of subjects from fine art, to porcelain, jewellery, furniture, music and all related arts subjects.
Arts Society Areas act as a conduit between the Societies themselves and the Headquarters in London. Each Area supports and promotes its local societies, and is able to offer advice and guidance throughout the year, and at the two Area Meetings held annually. It is important that Societies feel they are part of an area, and can gain from one another's experiences. The Area Meetings are an excellent forum for sharing information and meeting other Society members.
Some societies are quite small, whereas others are large enough to hold two sessions of the same lecture. Meetings can take place in the morning, afternoon or evening, depending on the location. A few societies have a waiting list, but you can become an Affiliate Member while on the waiting list which will enable you to keep up to date with news, receive the quarterly Arts Society Review and attend some lectures and events. Details of becoming an Affiliate Member can be accessed here.
Most societies also hold Study Days once or twice a year, which cover a particular subject in more depth. However, there is no requirement to have any prior knowledge of the subject. The day usually includes coffee to start with and a light lunch.
The Wessex Area holds its own Study Days several times a year and these are open to all members in the Wessex Area.
Each society arranges several outings during the course of the year to stately homes, galleries, gardens and other historic buildings and museums. Holidays - at home and abroad - are also available.
Most societies are also involved with the volunteering arm of The Arts Society. The main areas are: Church Recording , Heritage Volunteers and Young Arts plus Church Trails for children. Please see the separate web pages which cover these subjects.