New Membership Model
Our new membership model will launch with the new year in January 2024. There will be two membership levels: Root (Basic) and Onion (Premium). Membership NOW includes the print version of The Shallot: Journal of Mental Health, Art, and Literature. Root membership also includes interview promotion through our podcast, newsletter, and community platform. Onion membership will surround you with social media promotion and gallery and marketing opportunities along with the Root benefits.
November 10 Update
We’ve connected with our members and have an update that we would like to share. The Layered Onion will move forward with the new membership model! 60% of survey respondents said they would continue to be members with the new model.
For those who might be financially strained, we will be launching a scholarship fund at the same time as the new model. When you apply as a Root member, you can apply for a scholarship for Onion membership. There will be more details to come in our upcoming newsletters for both artists and supporters.
This was a tough decision for us, and we are so happy to have your support in moving forward – you are the best part of The Layered Onion. The number one reason listed for being part of the community is supporting each other. And we see that every day, especially on Instagram! We’re so happy to have played a part in helping bring such wonderful and talented people together.
Sending good vibes!
The Layered Onion Staff
September 9 Original Post
The Layered Onion is dedicated to empowering artists from all walks of life. Whether you’re an aspiring painter, a seasoned musician, or a budding poet, we provide a safe and nurturing space for your creativity to flourish. We challenge the stigmas surrounding mental health. Our mission is to break down barriers, foster understanding, and create a community that embraces the full spectrum of human emotions.
The world is in the midst of a cultural and social revolution. As the world shifts, we have had the opportunity to empower artists and reimagine mental health. By embracing creativity and opening up the conversation around mental health, we can transform our world into a brighter and more inclusive place.
Reviewing our efforts and goals
Before we started, I was working on a novel that I wanted to publish about mental health and stigma. When I tried to pursue publishing, they told me to find an established literary agent or self-publish. The process of publishing quickly exhausted me and stopped me in my tracks. I reached out to the other artists with mental health challenges and found out that I wasn’t alone. This is how The Layered Onion came to be.
Two and a half years later we have accomplished so much, but the current model is not sustainable. We have reached a fork in the road. We have an amazing community all over the world which lets us know that a place for creators with mental health challenges is important. The summer accelerator we participated in gave us the space and experts to think about how to serve our community more effectively with our limited resources. We love our community and have been doing everything we can to ensure its future, but unfortunately, determination alone is not enough to keep it going.
This will entail reviewing all our efforts to decide what can be done on a limited budget or if we continue to carry on. Currently, 78% of our members have chosen the free Root membership tier. Our crowdfunding campaign earlier this year helped us pursue a focused approach to sell subscriptions to The Shallot but print publications at libraries and health facilities were downsized or eliminated during the pandemic. We have been unable to create a sustainable revenue flow from that avenue.
As a result, we are faced with three options.
- Revise our membership model to two paid tiers and at least one supporting tier.
- Root (Basic) at $10/mo—which focuses on the community and includes a print version of The Shallot, networking platform access, newsletters, and being part of our podcast.
- Onion (Premium) at $25/mo—which includes the community also provides access to the permanent gallery space at Hodge Podge, pop-up art sales events, and website space and artist promotion through blogs, podcast shorts, events, and social media.
- Patron—for supporters that understand the importance of art and mental health which will include The Shallot, newsletter, and will form a scholarship fund for our artists to move from the basic to the premium tier.
- Downsize our efforts to focus on maintaining a presence on Instagram for artists to connect with the mission and learn about others who are in our network, suspending all other efforts.
- Finish my book and reflect on all that I have learned from all of you to make another run at publishing it.
And now it comes to you all, should we revise the membership model? Would you continue as a member?
<This poll is now closed.>
We know this is a complex question that takes finances into account. Know that we have loved and will continue to love being part of your journey, no matter how the cards fall. Please feel free to email us any thoughts you have at [email protected].
We’ll wrap up this layer reveal by sharing that The Layered Onion is two years old. The organization has so many things to be proud of, the best of which is this wonderful community we are all a part of.
- We are a community of artists all over the world.
- We created and published The Shallot: Journal of Mental Health, Art, and Literature
- We have a long-term partnership with Hodge Podge in Verona, WI, for gallery space and have hosted three unique shows so far.
- We launched a podcast talking with our artists about their art, mental health, and how they intersect.
- We have hosted four art events with sales for participating artists.
- We had a successful crowdfunding campaign.
- We have been in three social good accelerators with grant funding.
With love – more to come!
The Layered Onion Staff