Board Minutes Oct. 4 2017



OCT. 4, 2017


Location:  Baltimore Clayworks in Mt. Washington

Present:  All new Board Members present except Del. Bilal Ali (excused).  Alan Cooper attended by telephone.


The meeting was chaired by Sue Patz.


Decisions:  The slate of Board members was approved unanimously, with addition of  Marcy Emmer.


State of the State message from Sue Patz:  BC is now in “Recovery” stage, which  includes

  • Retrieving all data about BC
  • Getting all systems operational
  • Informing the public that we are open, under totally new management and soon to have classes

The next stage will include developing a business and development plan


Sam Wallace Report:  After Deb Bedwell reminded us of Sam’s status as a “national treasure”, Sam, who is key to everything we do at BC, told us how his goal after 20 years remains “to make people happy”.  He added “We gotta be better and make people happier; we will excel and meet the needs of the BC community”.  Tears were shed as he spoke.


Presentation and discussion of the Agreement For Continuation of Baltimore Clayworks, Inc., from Marsha Smelkinson: Explanation of terms, financial responsibilities and priorities of debt repayment.


Community Feedback:  What we’re hearing

  • Arts community in Baltimore needs to stick together and not let Clayworks disappear like the opera and ballet. Mary Ann Mears is our connection with the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and has let them know how much we need their support.
  • We need to contact the foundation community and show them that we are stable, completely reorganized, ready and able to accomplish our mission to serve.
  • We must emphasize our accomplishments and get testimony from other arts organizations attesting to our significant contributions. George to help with this.
  • Reach out again to the political community. We can make a presentation to the City Council, updating them and giving thanks for their support.  We should also thank the state legislators who attended the Annapolis hearing, chaired by Maggie McIntosh.
  • We should also reach out to civic groups such as Lions, etc. since they contribute to community organizations.




  • Getting studio up and ready
  • Springboard will be back by Monday, and Ronni Aronin has moved back in
  • Pat and others are working to get volunteers in for cleaning and painting

Program:  Deb Bedwell

  • Artist space and services are being readied, with resident artists moving back
  • Monitored Open Studio will be available to students with clay experience
  • Deb and Matt have organized a series of 6 week classes to begin at the end of October.
  • There will be a “Big Name” artist for a February workshop
  • A collaborative exhibition of Clayworks’s artists work will be shown at the Baltimore School for the Arts and at Clayworks, “Standing Together.” It will open   4
  • Deb and Mary Cloonan are exploring a possible holiday sale in the gallery bldg

Community Arts:  Deb

  • While BC was closed over the summer, Herb Massey and Dominique Hellgeth and others kept teaching in the community. Some were paid directly by the sites.  They have organized themselves into a new model for community teaching, apart from BC, but for which we might become fiscal sponsor.


Finance Committee:  Rima Semaan

  • In addition to the $310,000 raised by the Community Campaign, we have pledges from foundations for about $95,000
  • $175,000 has been paid out to 1st Tier creditors
  • Next steps will include a capital campaign
  • Need to see what, if any, legal restrictions exist on building uses, if we want to continue ownership of the gallery building.

IT:  Sue Patz

IT forensics experts continue to work on the entire computer system, since we have been locked out of all data. The tech company used to open BCW server has retrieved 70% of our data.


Further Decisions

  • Proposed slate of officers was approved unanimously, and will serve as Executive Committee

Chair:  Sue Patz, Chair, with John K. Smith as Advisor

Vice-Chair:  Larry Sandler

Treasurer:  Rima Semaan

Secretary:  Mary Jo Kirschman

  • New signatories for banking will be Rima, Sue and Deb
  • Old credit cards will be canceled, but Sam and Sue will have new debit card


Committees:   More members will be recruited from John’s/Marsha’s email lists.  As of now, we have:

  • Finance- Rima Semaan
  • Governance and By Laws- Leathia West
  • Development and outreach- Alan Cooper and Marsha Smelkinson (Mary Ann, Mary Jo)
  • Facilities- Pat and Ronni
  • Committee on Trustees- Larry Sandler, Marcy Emmer


Submitted by Mary Jo Kirschman, with Pat Halle

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

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