Oppose this hasty, reckless, unnecessary sale-and-move idea? You are definitely not alone. Earlier today (June 17), the Clayworks Community Petition signers leaped past the 1,000 total, and is now over that amount. Check here for the latest numbers and names.
You will recognize the names of devoted and long-time supporters of Baltimore Clayworks, including the Founders and many former Trustees, as well as hundreds of recent students, artists, teachers and members. Not the “small group of petitioners” that the current “leadership” calls us, we are the Clayworks Community — a large, strong, willing and dedicated constituency standing up together to rescue the institution from misguided direction.
The proposed sale must be stopped before it is too late. So we can go to work to restore Clayworks to solvency and stability, and create the roadmap to pursue the mission for decades to come. That’s why we have raised our voice in many ways since February 3, including:
- February 8 community meeting at Clayworks — Questioning the Board’s sudden sale announcement, proposing to raise funds, imploring not to sell the Studio/Classroom building, requesting records and minutes to clarify the situation.
- February 27 meeting at JCC to begin the Campaign, publish petition, begin emergency fund-raising. Within 3 weeks, raised $150,000. (Monies are held in escrow; Board has declined to discuss transfer to Baltimore Clayworks.)
- March 16 presentation of petition requests and 700+ signers to Board, asking (but not receiving) transparency and participation in the deliberations.
- April 6 (some of our members) applied for a temporary restraining order so Board would not agree to contract for sale before information was made public. This was later withdrawn because the Board cited By-laws that provide no “standing” for the membership to participate in a vote to sell assets. We later learned that on April 6 the Board executed a “letter of intent” to sell both buildings to Itineris for $3.7 million.
- April 22 silent “vigil” on Smith Ave. to demonstrate opposition to the sale.
- May 2 testified in Annapolis at briefing called by Delegates Adrienne Jones and Maggie McIntosh. Details here. 40 Community members in attendance.
- May 17 met with Maryland Nonprofits in prep meeting for dialogue meetings as the Delegates strongly urged. The meetings with Board reps did not occur, and the Board signed a contract to sell and submitted it for BPW approval before any dialogue.
- June 9 Letter to Mayor Catherine Pugh, requesting meeting to discuss the issue and request her support, signed by 177.
- June 12 Community Meeting, 125 attended, discussions with elected officials (Delegates Bilal Ali, Sandy Rosenberg, Angela Gibson, Shelley Hettleman, Mary Washington, Senator Nat Oaks, representative of Senator Bobby Zirkin, City Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schliefer) and community activists expressing concerns to the BPW.
- June 12 Letter to Mrs. Yumi Hogan, First Lady of Maryland, signed by 200.
- June 14 Letter to members of the Board of Public Works (Governor Hogan, Treasurer Kopp, Comptroller Franchot), signed by 226.
- June 17 Petition Signers total exceeds 1,000.