Board Minutes Nov. 1 2017



NOV. 1, 2017


PRESENT:  Leathia West, George Ciscle, Ronni Aronin, Alan Cooper, Marcy Emmer, Rima Semaan, Pat Halle, Larry Sandler, Marsha Smelkenson, John K. Smith, Susan Patz, Deb Bedwell, Bilal Ali, Mary Jo Kirschman


Minutes from Oct. 18 were approved.


Theme:  How to mend fences and make Clayworks fun, again*



Currently BCW does not have financial capacity to launch a Community Arts Program. A group of former Clayworks community arts teachers formed an independent group called “Community Clay Program.” BCW recently signed an MOU to be fiscal sponsor for Community Clay’s new contract with Living Classroom Foundation to teach clay classes to middle school students in an after-school program called UA House in East Baltimore. As fiscal sponsor, BCW will be paid 15% of the contract amount.

Two of BCW’s recent community arts sites, Jubilee Arts and Zeta Center, found funds to pay teachers and continue clay classes when BCW closed its doors during mid-July. We are taking steps to apologize, assess whether any monies are owed and repair harm.

As part of the strategic planning process, we will envision and create the future excellent community arts program for BCW.


Ana Maria is working with Matt to organize the Empty Bowls project, which will benefit Puerto Rican victims of Hurricane Maria.  Dates for pottery making are Dec. 2 and Dec. 9, but culminating event date is not set.  Ana Maria will be looking for volunteers.


INTERIM ED:  George reported for the Search Committee on exploration of candidates and next steps to get an interim ED in place ASAP.


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:  Will meet immediately to begin to take on responsibilities that are now unaddressed and therefore falling to Sue, as President.



Deb is working on application to State Arts Council with help from Sara Morales-Morgan



The committee is developing a 60 day work plan, to include Board giving, charitable foundations, corporate sources and foundations, and individual donors.  We now have lists of donors from 2012 through 2016. Board members will be asked to approach past donors they know, using talking points. Marcy asked that people send her names of possible committee members. Clear Channel billboards, while well placed, are too expensive.



Volunteer recruitment mailing going out. Thank You Party, Sunday, Dec. 10, will be combined with the launch of the holiday sale.  Organizers are looking for sponsors for the event. They were asked to make sure Community Arts is involved in the event.


Leathia has called hundreds of former students who were very happy to hear, personally, that Clayworks is back in business.


Marsha asked members to give feedback on FAQ’s draft she offered, and on ideas for the new website.



Budget:  We have $310,000 in cash, plus about $100,000 in pledges expected in November.

Paid Out:  $170,000 to creditors.  We still owe $50,000 to bank.

Records Reconciliation:  Every creditor is being contacted to supply evidence that we owe them, and how much we owe.  This is a continuing process.

Donations in Lieu of Repayments:  $17,000-$18,000, so far. Going forward:  Will have more precise figures in a month, including creating a monthly expenditures budget. We will try to negotiate with bigger creditors.


OUTREACH:  Deb said that people from around the country are donating workshops, pieces for fundraising, based on Clayworks reputation and good will.

Sue said that we will circulate a “letter of support”, including snapshot testimonials, to local and national artists, for their signatures. Generally, we need to agree on messaging, especially concerning where we are as an organization, i.e. “We saved Clayworks” vs. “We ARE saving Clayworks”, etc.



New Board Members : Send names and CV’s to Larry.

Advisory Committee:  Mary Ann and George drafting expectations of members, including ways to engage them.

Board Training: Board decided to consider this at a later date.


Minutes submitted by Mary Jo Kirschman, Secretary to the Board

* Added by the above.


With the exception of Personnel and Legal Matters the above represents the full and complete minutes of the Board Meeting.




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