FAQs for Chapter Admins

Q: What are the criteria for creating an Urban Sketchers Chapter?

A: You need:

  • to agree to follow the Manifesto
  • 3 local Administrators
  • a geographical location
  • a free online platform where Admins can organize and announce events and where members can post their sketches

Q: How can I create an Urban Sketching Chapter?

A: Step One

Become familiar with our website. Our Manifesto describes the guidelines we follow. If these simple rules seem acceptable, and maybe even an exciting challenge, then you should definitely take the next step.

Step Two

Review the Regional Chapter Guidelines and complete this form. Your application will be reviewed by the Regional Chapter Coordinator and presented to the Board for approval.

Q: What if there is no chapter near me, I sketch alone, or I have a disability and can’t attend sketching events? Can I still form my own chapter?

A: A chapter is meant to be a diverse community of people who share an interest in on-location drawing. If you have three administrators and a group of people who sketch in a place you can point to on a map, you are welcome to apply to be a chapter. As an individual, you can also add your name to our Global Directory and you can apply for membership at almost any worldwide USk Chapter. You will find that most Chapters are welcoming of guest members from all over the world.

Q: Why does USk only allow one chapter per city?

A: USk chapters should be at least an hour’s drive apart. We don’t want to set up a situation where one chapter is competing with another. Make sure there isn’t another chapter nearby if you are considering starting a new one. As our manifesto says, “We support each other and draw together.”

Q: How can I attract sketchers to join the group?

A: Invite your friends and your friends’ friends. Get the word out to local art, architecture and graphic design schools, create a group on a social media site such as Facebook and invite your friends to LIKE it. Your group will grow by word of mouth.

Q: What kind of online platform do you recommend?

A: Approximately 30% of our Chapters use a blog or website and 70% use Facebook. Whichever you choose, the platform must be free and allow the Admins to announce events and everyone to post their sketches.

Q: What about Meetup, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter? Are these acceptable online platforms?

A: We strongly discourage using Meetup as a way to jumpstart your group because this program has associated costs that you might be tempted to pass on to your users. Also it’s not an effective way to post the sketches. Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat do not allow Admins to organize events and are not effective platforms where members can post their sketches. However, you may wish to create an Instagram or Twitter account in addition to your blog or Facebook page.

Q: How frequently should we meet?

A: That’s up to you and the other two Chapter Administrators. If you’re happy running the group, other people will be drawn to what you’ve created. Meeting too frequently will only make you unhappy and will eventually lead to cancellations and inconsistency. Figure out what works for the Administrators and the majority of your members.

Q: Can we charge members to sketch with us?

A: No, you can’t. It is absolutely a violation of our core values. However, if you create a workshop, which is a special event, you can charge for attendance to pay the associated costs. See the USk Workshops page for more information on bringing a workshop to your city.

Q: What’s the best way to share sketches on the internet?

A: Besides sharing your sketches on your Chapter’s online platform, you could also share your sketches on the USk Group page. The sketches must be legitimate urban sketches. Or you could submit your sketches to the Editorial Committee for inclusion on the USk site. Or you may wish to share them on our USk Flickr page.

Q: Can I announce my painting exhibition on the USk site or USk Facebook page?

A: No. USk promotes USk events and workshops and posts urban sketching stories and sketches exclusively.

Q: Can our city chapter post sketches done outside of that city or are we restricted to only posting sketches in the city for which we are named?

A: Your Chapter should be accepting of any legitimate sketch made by one of your members. Posting sketches you made outside of regular meetings or while you’re on vacation can be an interesting way to share your world with your chapter.

Q: Is a sketch done in a rural setting considered an “urban” sketch?

A: Sketches that capture a specific geographical space and pinpoint a moment in time in the life of the sketcher are perfectly acceptable urban sketches whether they are of a crowded street scene, a cattle farm, or of the beach or mountains. Remember to tell us where you were and when you sketched it.

Q: Are there criteria for members to join a Regional Chapter?

A: Anyone who follows our manifesto may join a local USk Regional Chapter. Our USk Chapters are not private clubs. We are community groups. Our chapters are free, open and inclusive regardless of age, race, gender, or skill level.

Q: Can non-members or even non-sketchers participate in our local sketching events?

A: Of course! How will someone decide if they want to join your chapter unless they first attend one of your events? Non-sketching family members or friends are also welcome to tag along as long as they are not disruptive to the group. We want to be inclusive and welcoming of everyone.

Q: Should a USk Chapter allow sketchers from other cities to become members in our chapter?

A: Why not? Our founder Gabi Campanario likes to join chapters in other cities. He pops in and LIKES or comments on people’s sketches and people are thrilled. Sometimes it happens that people from highly restrictive countries seek membership in our USk Chapters just so that they can have a window into our world. Also, people with disabilities who are not able to attend USk events may wish to join your chapter so that they can see and enjoy your sketches and share their own. Finally, you may be contacted by travelers to your city who would like to sketch with you. We want to be as welcoming and inclusive as possible.

Q: Can non-Admin members create their own events?

A: Non-Admin members are welcome to sketch alone or with others and to post their sketches to the Chapter platform. However, your Admins are working hard to research and organize great events for your chapter. You don’t want to compete with what your Admins are doing. Why not suggest your location/event to your Admins so that they can schedule it in with the other events they’re planning?

Q: Can we make up our
own logo?

A: As an officially recognized Urban Sketchers chapter you
may wish to display our official logo. The logo can be adapted to your chapter
according to this logo
design guide
. You are not required to use our logo but if you do use a logo
it should be the USk logo and no other.

Q: Where can we find
more information about how to run our chapter?

A: Please become familiar with our Regional
Chapter Guidelines
available in 17 languages.


Q: I need group management advice/mentoring, what can I do?

A: If you need advice concerning running your chapter, please email Richard Alomar or Membership.

Last updated 04 Dec 2018 PW