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Join Us on the Road to 2019

Dear Clayworks Community,

It has been a truly phenomenal year at Baltimore Clayworks. As you probably know, in July of 2017, Clayworks closed its doors, displacing artists, art, students, children, and the spirit of this 38 year-old organization.

But Clayworks proved its resilience by reopening the doors in October of 2017. Over this past year, with immeasurable gratitude to the donors, foundations, civic leaders, volunteers, and visionaries that make up the Clayworks community, we paid off debts, reorganized leadership, and put out the numerous “fires” that led to the closing. Clayworks is back to stay with a full program of classes, workshops, exhibits, and events.

In addition to continuing to present superb classes and exhibitions with renowned ceramic artists, Clayworks plans to extend its community-wide programming through partnerships with Man Alive, The House of Ruth, Make Studio, and other social service agencies. Clayworks is also growing the youth programs utilizing clay to offer job training skills to children and young adults with cognitive disabilities. Our forthcoming purchase of a 3D printer will support STEM curriculum in programs to serve Baltimore’s public school students.

If you have ever been through a traumatic crisis; in your business, or personal life, or family, if you have ever had to call on all of your resources to fix a really big problem, then you know how the aftermath feels. Clayworks is finally in a position where it can take a deep breath and start thinking strategically about the future. As you can see, we have some exciting plans, and we need your help!

Please consider Baltimore Clayworks in your year-end giving. It’s been a tumultuous few years, during which the organization has proven its service to the community, and the community has proven its commitment to the organization. Your generous contribution will help Clayworks continue to stabilize as we move into the next 38 years.

The graphic below shows the impact of contribution levels; please know that your gift of any size is crucial to the sustainability of the organization, and we are so grateful for all gifts, large and small. You may donate online at our new and improved website, or, if you prefer to mail in your contribution, our address is listed below. Please note that Baltimore Clayworks is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Your gift is tax deductible and must be postmarked by Dec. 31 to qualify as a tax deduction for the present year.

We invite you to come visit us at any time to see the exhibits, meet the new resident artists, or just say hello. You would hardly know that the doors were closed a year ago – Clayworks is alive with joyous creative energy!

Thank you again!

Sincerely,

Susan Patz, Board President

Cyndi Wish, Executive Director

PS – Baltimore Clayworks participates in Maryland’s Community Investment Tax Credit program. Your donation of $500 or greater will be met by a 50% tax credit on your Maryland taxes. These tax credits are in addition to the deductions on both Federal and State taxes as a result of the charitable contribution. This opportunity is limited and will not be available in 2019. For questions and to obtain appropriate forms contact Mary Jo Kirschman – info@baltimoreclayworks.org.

Baltimore Clayworks Appoints New Executive Director

Photo by Matthew Paul D’Agostino.

Baltimore, MD – The Board of Trustees of Baltimore Clayworks is pleased to announce the appointment of Cyndi Wish as the organization’s Executive Director. Baltimore Clayworks is a nonprofit community-centered ceramics institution known for its national and international reputation for artistic excellence, artists’ support, and community involvement.

Ms. Wish brings to the position years of executive experience in non-profit leadership and management focusing on arts and cultural programming, education, and community development. Ms. Wish is an experienced teacher, fundraiser, manager and coalition builder. She has worked for a variety of organizations throughout the country in Provincetown, MA, New Bedford, MA, and San Francisco. Her most recent position was as the Executive Director at the Jamestown Fine Arts Association in North Dakota where she led a major arts park development project and its fundraising campaign.

Ms. Wish holds a Master of Visual Arts degree from the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, from The Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC.

“This is wonderful timing for Baltimore Clayworks and for Cyndi,” said Susan Patz, President of the Board of Trustees. “We have recently celebrated the one year anniversary of our reopening with great community support and even a new Clayworks Way street sign. Our participation in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts Innovation and Management coincides with Cyndi’s first week at Clayworks.  With new leadership and the Bloomberg Philanthropies mentorship, Clayworks has the opportunity to further advance its mission: creating transformative programming, exhibitions, artist residencies and community partnerships that serve the diverse population of Baltimore.”

“I am excited to be able use my skills and energy to continue the great momentum of Baltimore Clayworks and to work with the Board and staff to strategically grow the organization,” said Ms. Wish. “I look forward to getting to know the Clayworks community and those people and institutions that make Baltimore a cultural hub.”

Nicole Fall, who joined Clayworks as the Interim Director during the transition, will remain with the organization and guide the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund Grant program, which allows Clayworks to enhance its programming mission to youth (ages 7-23) and support a new job-training internship incorporating 3D printing technology into the making of ceramics.

Meet Cyndi Wish at Baltimore Clayworks’ next community meeting on November 17, 2018 from 3-5p.m. at Baltimore Clayworks in Mt. Washington.

Visit baltimoreclayworks.org for more information.

 

About Baltimore Clayworks

Baltimore Clayworks is a non-profit institution dedicated solely to the ceramic arts. Clayworks was founded in 1980 as a community-centered ceramics institution located in the Mt. Washington neighborhood of Baltimore, MD. Clayworks provides affordable studio space, equipment, and professional opportunities. It offers hands-on studio classes for children and adults, presents exhibitions showcasing the work of the best professional artists in the field of ceramics. It also hosts a sales gallery, and has a dedicated community arts program. Community arts at Baltimore Clayworks partners with local community organizations to bring art experiences to all.

 

Contact:

Cyndi Wish, Executive Director, cyndi.wish@baltimoreclayworks.org

Susan Patz, President Board of Trustees, susan.patz@baltimoreclayworks.org

Baltimore Clayworks | 410-578-1919 | 5707 Smith Avenue | Baltimore MD 21209 | baltimoreclayworks.org

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One Year Later and Looking Forward With Confidence: Message from Board President Susan Patz, October 15, 2018

Greetings from Clayworks Way!

The ceremony celebrating our street renaming was a highlight of the October 10 Global Day of Clay. Please visit soon and proudly post a selfie at our new street sign. Join us in spreading the good news — that Baltimore Clayworks is indeed on the map and here to stay.

For those of you who missed the festivities, please visit the recently-refreshed BaltimoreClayworks.org website. Along with photos and recaps of the wonderful celebrations, you will see citations and letters from civic leaders on this landmark occasion, as well as letters from children who participated. It’s a joyous record of the continuing impact of our organization, our community, and our many friends.

Inherent in understanding the accomplishment of Clayworks’ renewal is that we build on a strong 38-year legacy: bringing together and supporting the best in ceramics — people, arts, and education — to expand opportunities for all to experience the joy of clay.

True Friends of Baltimore Clayworks

Delegate Bilal Ali summed up what has happened, saying,

 “Last October you took over the reins and worked tirelessly to put everything back on track. And now look where we are! Bills are paid, buildings are refinanced, programs are restarted, adults and kids from all over the city and state are sharing the joy of clay once again. I thank you for saving Baltimore Clayworks, and for letting me join you in this noble effort. The good folks prevailed!”

Special thanks to Councilman “Yitzy” Schliefer and his colleagues on the Baltimore City Council for the Clayworks Way renaming. Their strong support throughout the 2017 campaign continues visibly. Baltimore Clayworks was recently awarded an important grant from the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund, to initiate an innovative ceramics and technology internship program for teenage and young adult Baltimoreans. We look forward to continuing this productive and supportive relationship with the leadership of our City.

Likewise, many Maryland state legislators and leaders continue to bring meaningful support for our mission. They were instrumental in obtaining funding for Baltimore Clayworks from the Maryland State Arts Council at a critical time in our reopening, making possible the restart of our exhibitions and other important arts programs.

Once again we would also like to salute the grantors, foundations, and major donors who expressed confidence in the renewed organization with generous funding over the past several months, and pledges for the future. Your endorsement is an inspiration for many individual donors whose contributions to our non-profit are also invaluable.

As we enter the final quarter of 2018, Baltimore Clayworks will once again seek contributions and donations from many of you. For those whose generosity enables them to contribute $500 or more, we are pleased to offer Maryland Community Investment Tax Credits, and thank the State for this program once again. Please contact Mary Jo Kirschman via info@baltimoreclayworks.org for the appropriate forms. And be on the lookout for our fundraising messages to come!

How will Baltimore Clayworks put your contributions to work?

We announced at the ceremony that Cyndi Wish will join Baltimore Clayworks as Executive Director, effective this week. Cyndi’s background in education and nonprofit arts administration includes work in Massachusetts, Chicago, San Francisco, and most recently at the Jamestown Fine Arts Association in North Dakota. We are excited to have recruited Cyndi and look forward to her leadership as we move forward.

Nicole Fall, who stepped in to direct staff operations in the interim, will be staying on to facilitate the programs made possible by the Baltimore City grant. We are pleased that this fine artist and arts community leader will continue to represent Baltimore Clayworks. Nicole’s good work in attracting this grant, as well as the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ organizational mentorship, will pay dividends for our organization and enhance our impact for years to come.

Behind the scenes, your Board of Trustees has worked diligently to restore Baltimore Clayworks to stable financial footing. Over $1 million in obligations inherited in 2017 have been paid and resolved. Most importantly, our restarted education and exhibition programs and successful development initiatives achieved visible results. This enabled us to project a model for financial stability and sustainability. With the help of our legal and financial counselors, Baltimore Clayworks has entered new agreements with Columbia Bank for short-term and long-term financing. Ownership of our buildings and facilities is no longer endangered.

No words can express the depth of our eternal thanks to the artists, staff members, volunteers, vendors, participants and partners who made it possible to get the ball rolling once the Agreement was signed and keys turned over to us one year ago. You are Baltimore Clayworks, and everything we accomplish will be built on the momentum you began.

To the students who enrolled in classes and workshops, the parents who sent kids to summer camps, the collectors and visitors who patronized our Gallery exhibitions and shops, the artists who applied and those who were selected as Resident Artists … your confidence and excitement will never be forgotten. We look forward to sharing many happy times and beautiful arts together in the years ahead.

With help from our Advisory Group, Charrette participants, and many of you, we have begun identifying priorities and a Strategic Plan for the future. In coming months we will announce additional initiatives and programs that the Staff, Board, Committees and Partners have worked on as well. In the interest of brevity, I will not detail them here. Look for more information at our next open Community Meeting on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 3-5pm and in email messages and web announcements to come. Here’s just a taste:

  • An all-new Membership Program.
  • Expansion of our Youth and Family Programs to include after-school sessions and regular field-trips that introduce Baltimore Clayworks to young audiences and provide valuable education and inspiration.
  • Increases of our Community Arts Programs in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.
  • Interaction and involvement programs for Resident Artists, Associate Artists, students and donors to connect, communicate and grow.
  • Improved Baltimoreclayworks.org website, social media pages, email newsletters and public relations visibility — part of a strategic marketing and communication program.

I hope you are inspired to continue to participate at Clayworks. Take a class or workshop … make a donation … browse and shop in our Gallery and in neighboring Mt. Washington Village … tell your family and friends about our (always free) Exhibitions … share photos on social media … volunteer for a Committee or to help with an Event. The work of Baltimore Clayworks is and always will be a collaborative, team effort to share the joy of clay in meaningful ways.

Join in! And thank you.

Sue Patz, Board President, Baltimore Clayworks Inc.

(Drawing by Voelker Schoenfliess and Photos by Matthew Paul D’Agostino.)

 

 

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Celebrate Global Day of Clay With Baltimore Clayworks

Along with ceramic arts centers throughout the world, Baltimore Clayworks celebrates this year’s Global Day of Clay on October 10, 4-7 p.m., and you are invited to join in.

Exactly one year since reopening the doors and the return of artists and students, our treasured ceramic arts center is now thriving. In recognition of this success, our street will be renamed Clayworks Way, a fitting signal that Baltimore Clayworks is firmly On The Map in its historic Mt. Washington home, and here to stay.

On The Map, a public celebration from 4:00 to 7:00pm on Global Day of Clay, will include the street naming ceremony (4:30pm) and honors for civic leaders and donors who supported Baltimore Clayworks, as well as students, volunteers, and partners who are integral to the Clayworks community.

Celebration events open to the public during On The Map will include summer camper, student, community arts displays, studio and “Welcome to the Clayborhood” exhibition tours, refreshments and music. For this family-friendly event at Baltimore Clayworks, all ages of neighbors, supporters, and students are welcome to attend. There is no admission fee.

Earlier during Global Day of Clay, Baltimore Clayworks’ artists will introduce elementary school students from several Baltimore neighborhoods to the joy of clay with demos, studio tours, and hands-on mini-workshops.

Global Day of Clay events throughout the world are available on Global Day of Clay’s website. Many other clay centers and schools in our region are also participating in the Global Day of Clay, including the following:

Global Day of Clay Participants in Maryland coming soon.

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