Asked to comment on the press release announcing that the Board’s contract with Itineris had been signed (the letter of intent was executed two months ago), here is the Campaign’s response:
That the contract is signed is no surprise. As we said in our post “To Baltimore: Why Care About Clayworks” last week, “We are continuing the campaign to Save Baltimore Clayworks. If we lose these two buildings in this sale, the organization itself will continue to be in mortal danger.”
The disappointing part of this news is that the Board continues to act without due diligence, and without any mediation or collaboration with its stakeholder community. State delegates met May 2 to discuss concerns about Clayworks losing an irreplaceable ceramics facility that had been supported by $800,000 of public bond monies. They urged the parties to “disarm” and “work together.”
It is highly unlikely that the stakeholders — including hundreds of students, teachers, artists, staff and donors who have been ignored, targeted and berated by this administration — will support a move if this sale is completed.
As Fred Lazarus wrote in his May 1 op-ed (Baltimore needs a strong Clayworks, May 2, Baltimore Sun), the Board still has “no clear public plan about how this decision will lead to the stabilization, much less survival, of the organization.”
Attacking The Community
As to the “white paper” published on the Baltimore Clayworks website earlier this week, we posted:
The Clayworks Community, the target of a “white paper” recently published by the Board of Trustees, notes the many obvious fabrications and misrepresentations of the organization’s financial history and Clayworks Community Campaign’s work that it contains.
Since 2015, the Board and administration have been unable to raise the typical yearly funds that keep Clayworks solvent. Since publicly declaring 4 months ago that selling buildings was its only solution to financial issues magnified under its leadership, the administration has consistently ignored, belittled and attacked anyone who questioned the basis of that decision, or offered help.
Many stakeholders — including students, teachers, artists, staff and donors — have been targeted and berated by the administration. The unpersuasive “white paper” is just the latest demonstration that the Mission and Core Values (integrity, joy, excellence, inclusivity, and artist centeredness) have been eroded and ignored.
The Baltimore Sun reported the contract, the white paper and our response: click here. Baltimore Fishbowl reported: Opponents of Clayworks Sale: ‘Our Campaign is Continuing’
The Campaign continues to urge:
1. Please sign the Petition (http://bit.ly/clayworkspetition). Include your email address to receive updated information.
2. Write letters to your representatives and to the Board of Public Works (Governor Hogan, Treasurer Kopp, Comptroller Franchot). Find addresses on our website.
3. Visit, “Like,” follow, and comment on our Facebook page: @saveclayworks.
4. Plan to attend our COMMUNITY MEETING on Monday, June 12, from 6-8pm. Additional details to come.
5. Email your suggestions and thoughts to: firstname.lastname@example.org.