We have so much positive news to report to the Clayworks Community. Here it is, and it is posted on our website 2017clay.wordpress.com. You might want to click the “FOLLOW” button on the site so you receive email messages whenever a new post is added.
1. PETITION — We now have 380 online signatures (as of 7pm Wednesday). We reached our original goal of 300 in less than 3 days from launch. Great job, everyone! Please keep up the effort to share the petition, and encourage your personal contacts to do the same. We’ve got their attention, and we’re going to have an undeniable expression of the energy of this Community to influence the future. We changed a few words on the petition, based on feedback from you and others. The changes are modest, but they will improve the impact of the petition. Check the website or download a hard copy to see for yourself.
2. FUND-RAISING — Clayworks’ management has been cooperative and helpful in enabling us to design the campaign. As I wrote on Monday, we have agreed to hold off on a public launch of the campaign until the Board responds to our requests. After the March 16 Board meeting, we will evaluate the status and determine next steps. We are preparing the campaign machinery in the interim, so it is ready to launch ASAP after the meeting. It is necessary that management endorse the campaign, so that (a) monies are delivered immediately to BCW to fund current operations, and (b) donors receive tax deductions for 501(c)3 contributions. I believe it’s going to happen, and that it’s going to help us preserve and protect Clayworks programs.
3. NCECA — The largest annual gathering of clay enthusiasts is coming up in a few weeks. We are working on materials for our friends and representatives to spread the word encouraging donations to Clayworks. This, too, is coming together with management’s cooperation. We hope to reach artists from all over the country to help support our beloved Baltimore Clayworks. The funds generated will immediately help with cash flow.
4. GOVERNANCE/FINANCE — Lots of progress on this front, but little that we may detail at this moment. Several meetings have resulted in identifying legal and financial avenues that may influence the Board’s decisions and actions. In meetings with Board members we have negotiated several important steps. We are working to obtain access to important information to shed more light on the state of affairs. We have identified legal counsel that may be engaged to assist with productive examination of all options, to deal with the serious financial pressure Clayworks is experiencing.
5. HAPPENINGS — Please look over this most recent newsletter from Baltimore Clayworks, and share it with your friends and family. Lots of upcoming activities and events — including Spring II Session adult classes, Summer Camps,  Family Workshops, and the upcoming “Top Soil” exhibition (and free opening reception on Friday, March 10). The more we can help promote these activities, the more successful they will be — and all of us are hoping for a successful Baltimore Clayworks.
6. GOT SOMETHING TO SAY? — The Discussion page on our website includes several very interesting comments. Please add your own, tell us what you’re thinking or ideas you suggest, and visit the page often to see what your colleagues have to add. Go to the Discussion page at this link: https://2017clay.wordpress.com/comment/
As always, we welcome your feedback. Thanks.
— Marsha Smelkinson

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