Following is an update on the Campaign, including a call for volunteers to help, and what you can do right now:
What do we want?
Our goal is to protect and preserve the Mission of Baltimore Clayworks and to unify the voices of Board, community and staff in order to move forward together:
“Baltimore Clayworks is a non-profit ceramic art center that exists to develop, sustain, and promote an artist-centered community that provides outstanding artistic, educational, and collaborative programs in ceramic arts.”
We believe this Mission is threatened by the hasty decision and rush to sell the Mount Washington buildings in order to resolve current financial issues. We are unaware of future plans that verify the claim that the proposed sale will enable the relocation and reinvention of Clayworks in what the current Acting ED and Board of Trustees President speculate will be a “sustainable model.”
Our position is that alternative options exist for immediate and short-term answers for the financial crisis, and that a pause in the rush to sell will enable informed study of the problems faced by Baltimore Clayworks in pursuit of its Mission. We have identified professional resources and six-figure donors to assist in this process.
As advocates for Baltimore Clayworks and fellow members of the Clayworks Community, we propose the following:
1. Pause the sale process now.
2. Bring the Board and Community representatives together to meet with professional resources, to agree on and implement immediate actions to continue Baltimore Clayworks programs without disruption. This will include revenue generation and cost control, along with debt reduction and/or restructuring to assure stability in the near term.
3. Work collaboratively with the Board and Community to develop a shared Vision and business plan, within the Baltimore Clayworks’ Mission, to revive and grow as a thriving community ceramic arts center.
What is the Community Campaign asking of the Board of Trustees?
We ask our Board members and leadership to take up the Campaign’s request for additional study to support a financially sound choice, to work with us to develop new opportunities for revenue generation, and to execute a fund-raising plan that solves the immediate and short-term issues and addresses the ongoing debt reduction goals. We must act quickly together to avoid the possibility of losing more staff.
We accept the possibility that after a multi-faceted feasibility study, the sale of one or both of the currently-owned buildings may be the right choice for Baltimore Clayworks. We may discover existing and potential program needs that are not fully answered by the Mount Washington venue.
If that is the case, the Community which has participated in the vision will be prepared to support its conclusions. Of course, we cannot speak for every student or every donor. Each individual will make his or her own judgments of what suits their interests and personal choices. But this Campaign will not oppose a sale if the fully-developed plan recommends it.
What Can You Do Right Now?
1. Write emails and letters — to board members, political representatives, organizations and the media. You can find addresses on our Documents and Links page here.
2. Post your comments and letters on our Discussion page here.
3. Facebook Page — “Like” and follow our new “Save Baltimore Clayworks” Facebook page (search on FB for @saveclayworks, or click here). Share the page with your friends, post your notes and updates, express your opinions, encourage others to join you.
4. Post SAVE BALTIMORE CLAYWORKS signs, around your neighborhood, at work, in local shopping centers and restaurants. Use the questionnaire: we’ll contact you to arrange pick-up of signs and materials.
5. Volunteer for planning events and assembling names for committees to help with steps along the way. Sign up by using the questionnaire.
Click here for the quick questionnaire and sign-up form.
Thank you, friends. Let’s do all we can to save Baltimore Clayworks!