A WIN-WIN SOLUTION FOR BALTIMORE CLAYWORKS Proposed By The Clayworks Community Campaign, July 5, 2017
“This institution adds such value to our community and we need to do all we can to ensure the value of its survival. I urge the members of the Board of Public Works to hear the voices of the community in this matter.” — Former U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski
“To ensure that they remain a vital part of the larger Baltimore Clayworks community and an asset for the Citizens of Baltimore City … the Members of the Board of Public Works of Maryland should reject the proposed sale [of two buildings].” — Baltimore City Council Resolution 17-0030R, adopted June 19, 2017
“We urge the Board of Public Works to take the time to listen to the community and all stakeholders. There is a clear need for transparency, as well as financial and programmatic stability, before far-reaching decisions are made.” — District 11 legislators: Delegates Hettleman, Stein and Morhaim, Senator Zirkin
“I fear that the sale of the two buildings will be the death knell of this outstanding institution that is so important to the citizens of the State of Maryland. And I therefore, respectfully and strongly, request that you do all in your power to halt the sale.” — Delegate Bilal Ali, District 41
“We request, therefore, that the Board of Public Works delay its decision … until it is presented with a plan for the long-term future of Clayworks that evidences broad based engagement from the Baltimore clay community.”— Delegates Sandy Rosenberg and Angela Gibson, State Senator Nathaniel Oaks, District 41
“This organization, which has been been so critical to ceramic artists in our community, has to be sustained and allowed to flourish. This can only happen if the process moving forward has a broad base of support from not only the Clayworks’ traditional constituency, but the city as a whole. It is the time to build a plan for the future that will galvanize this support. It is essential that the board and the community can work together in the weeks and months ahead to build such a plan.” — Fred Lazarus, President-Emeritus of MICA, in Baltimore Sun op-ed, “Baltimore needs a strong Clayworks,” May 1, 2017
“I urge you to come together. You need one another.” –– Delegate Maggie McIntosh, at Briefing on Baltimore Clayworks, May 2, 2017
The Clayworks Community Campaign proposes a WIN-WIN solution that:
- Bridges the divide between the Clayworks Community and Baltimore Clayworks leadership;
- Resolves immediate financial crisis and cash flow shortfalls;
- Addresses short-term and long-term debts;
- Revitalizes Clayworks financially and ensures the continued stewardship of Clayworks’ Mission;
- Repairs the division between Community and Baltimore Clayworks leadership with a UNIFIED plan that both communities can embrace;
- Eliminates relocation expenses and risks;
- Pilots an expansion into an arts district;
- Promotes a unified plan that will bring back 1000+ community members and their substantial resources in support of Clayworks;
- Responds to the directives of Maryland legislators, Baltimore City and Baltimore County elected officials who can support this plan;
- Exemplifies efficient and effective stewardship of State taxpayers funds;
- Sustains Baltimore Clayworks into the future.
Win-Win Solution for Baltimore Clayworks — A Framework for Rescue & Revitalization, July 5, 2017
- Clayworks Community LLC contributed funds are used to pay the monthly bank obligations through the end of 2017. BCW acknowledges ach payment to the bank as charitable donations made on behalf on BCW.
- The Gallery Building and Parking Lot are appraised, and research undertaken to consider separating the assets for sale. CCLLC pays for the appraisal, and this, too, is treated as a charitable donation on behalf of BCW.
- Based on the results of the appraisals of the Gallery Building and the Parking Lot, and the requirements of the lender for paying down or paying off outstanding liens, proceed with efforts to sell the Gallery Building and/or Parking Lot.
- The Studio Building is not to be sold for at least 5 years.
- The CCLLC will endorse a Board-agreed contract for sale of the Gallery Building and/or the Parking Lot, and will support approval by the Board of Public Works of that sale, with specification of a condition that the Studio Building cannot be sold without further approval by the Board of Public Works.
- The Board of Trustees is reconstituted immediately with the addition of at least ten members selected by the CCLLC, the number to be no less than the number of current trustees. Of the members selected by the CCLLC , one shall be the Treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee, and one shall be another officer. All standing committees will be comprised of an equal number of CCLLC-named Trustees and current Trustees. Non-trustee members on standing committees will be appointed by vote of the full Board.
- Once all of the above are in place, funds raised by the CCLLC will be used to pay the $50,000 bank loan before December 31, 2017, and for other debts as determined by the Finance Committee.
- The reconstituted Board of Trustees will undertake study of the potential of opening a Baltimore Clayworks facility in an “arts district,” to include some combination of exhibitions gallery, retail sales gallery, classroom and studio equipment, and artist studio(s). The idea is to relocate exhibitions and retail galleries to a location that would deliver higher native area traffic, while establishing a pilot program for education and artist studios, with hopes for future expansion.
- Education and Studio operations (including kilns) to continue in the Studio Building.
- CCLLC endorses these efforts, heartily encourages donors and community supporters to re-engage, and helps launch major fund-raising efforts.
- Plans will be developed to:
- Identify and actively pursue partnership programs to support and enhance each of Clayworks’ program areas.
- Re-establish development and sponsorship programs to revive funding sources (individual donors, community members, foundation and grant-makers no longer active), preserve and enhance grants and foundation sources, pursue bridge loans or bond bills or other needed governmental support, improve and expand all outreach programs. Pursue Capital Campaign to build operating and maintenance reserves, and endowment.
- Plan and implement a re-branding and marketing program to support the revitalized, modernized, united Baltimore Clayworks.
- Work with the resources available (through Maryland Nonprofits, NCECA, other industry and local organizations, and expert advisors) to craft Strategic and Business Plans, management and personnel policies, training and review procedures to achieve best practices and high standards of performance and results.
- Engage, re-engage, energize, and empower teams of volunteers, staff, outside consultants to implement aspects of the plans and programs.
- Work to restore and reclaim Baltimore Clayworks’ international reputation for excellence as a pioneering multi-disciplined ceramic arts center, providing leadership in the industry and in the Maryland arts community. (Note: Ceramics is a “hot” arts area, and other multi-disciplined ceramic centers throughout the country are now thriving.)
The following outcomes would be achieved by this Win-Win Solution:
- Resolve the immediate financial crisis.
- Provide funding support to cover immediate bank and line of credit repayment deadlines.
- Raise sufficient capital through the sale of some of the real estate assets less vital to Baltimore Clayworks’ mission if verified that amounts will be sufficient to pay down or pay off outstanding capital debt.
- Retain the revenue-generating Studio Building that is vital to the continuation of the mission.
- Avoid costly relocation and lease expense.
- Establish a Baltimore Clayworks presence in one of the Baltimore Arts Districts.
- Restore relationships with the donor and larger member and artists community.
- Significantly increase private and governmental funding support for both operating and capital needs, including a reserve fund.
To download the Win-Win Solution framework document, click on the link below: