A lot has happened since it became clear that the Board of Public Works would not approve the Baltimore Clayworks sale contract on July 5, including the withdrawl of that contract, the closing of doors and canceling of camps and classes and programs, and communications from the Board of Trustees that it intends to file for bankruptcy. Due to the important nature of communications with the Board of Trustees, we have elected until now not to discuss them publicly via posts or media comments.
This has been a long journey since February 3 when the Board announced its intention to sell both buildings that comprise the Clayworks campus. The Clayworks Community Campaign has overcome many obstacles since then. We organized people who believed that was a horrible mistake, and the numbers of those who agreed with our position grew and grew.
Along the way 1,052 individuals signed our petition, the Baltimore City Council passed a unanimous resolution asking the Board of Public Works to slow the sale, and state elected officials agreed. We raised $200,000 to prove our readiness to help stabilize Clayworks to continue operations while other solutions and plans were developed.
The Board of Trustees is charged with the responsibility and has the authority to keep Baltimore Clayworks Inc. alive. This is an awesomely difficult time, with many pressures and many voices evident.
We believe that, like any institution, fresh ideas and renewed energy and vision come from a change in leadership. Fresh leadership is called for, and the larger Clayworks Community and Maryland arts community are aware that there are vast resources and new leaders who stand ready and eager to get to work.
The Board of Baltimore Clayworks should not close the doors and take this once grand institution into bankruptcy because of frustration with actions of the State, the City and the broad-based arts community. We just hope the current Board of Baltimore Clayworks still has the courage and vision to listen to so many civic, arts and elected leaders, and make the right decisions.
— From the Steering Committee, Clayworks Community Campaign