No group can please everyone. Few groups are for everyone. All associations that grow large will speedily suffer some growing pains. Most folks here believe in the cause and want to help ARC grow graciously. Advice is one type of help that without additional support can grow rather tiresome fast.
As to how the artists in NY feel, that will change as soon as one of them gets an award. Then at least one of them will feel differently. I know some painters in the West but I wouldn't presume to speak for the group as there are about 27,000,000 and I really don't know them all.
Get any group together to be united [behind] one cause and there will always be some that have a gripe. It's human nature and it's the simply nature of some people. There are many dead artists on ARC because there are many good dead painters. Do the math. History dismisses the mediocre artists. Art was on a continuous maturing cycle until about 1910. From 2,600BC until then painting especially tracked toward perfection. That's why we find so much of interest in art done during those last golden years of 1860-1910.
ARC is providing a service I would have basked in as a kid. I found it at age 44 and was thrilled. Had it existed when I was 14 it would have accelerated my artistic life tremendously. I have been asked all my adult life where young artists should go to study art. It wasn't until ARC put together ARC that one existed where I could send these students for info. While we offer well meaning advice let's not forget how good this is now and how poor would be our lives without it, because many of us can recall those dark days all too well. I read every good art book in the small town libraries I could find. It didn't take long. I still find works on ARC I've never seen before.