Hello and Happy February,
There’s a lot I could share with you right now, but I’m going to get to the point of something that’s been on my mind lately.
It was brought to my attention the other day that our community meetings have become kind of boring. I’ve only been to one of them so, personally, I have nothing to compare it to, but I have to say that I sort of agree. The one in November felt like a nice bedtime story, where staff and committees reported in, not a lot of questions were asked, and people left either feeling good about the state of Clayworks, or questioning the authenticity of the meeting’s content.
I’ve been in my job now for almost 4 months, and I love it. But I wasn’t here during the turbulent recent times at Clayworks and so I ask for your patience while I work to navigate the community’s need for transparency and to feel confident that this wonderful organization is being well managed and cared for. With so many invested artists, students, patrons, and appreciators at its heart, Baltimore Clayworks is in a unique position.
One idea that came up, which I think is a good one, is to change the Community Meeting format, and instead to host conversations which are based on issues. That way people who are interested specifically in certain aspects of Clayworks can attend, hear updates as to what is being discussed, what has been decided on, and offer input into questions or issues that remain unanswered and unsolved. We are hopeful that this will invite more dynamic dialogue within smaller groups. The first of these Community Conversations will be facilitated by the co-chair of our Real Estate Committee, a group which is looking into ideas for the best and most strategic uses for our wonderful properties. It is scheduled for 5:30pm on March 14th, location TBD but it will be somewhere in Mount Washington Village. We will keep you posted.
I hope this will be an improvement over our Community Meetings. The world is filled with meetings, and we strive to be lively and not at all boring. I also invite you to share with me how you would like to be communicated with. Clayworks is an organization made up of the people it serves and we want you to feel comfortable. If you have ideas and suggestions for upcoming Community Conversation topics, please let me know. If you have specific questions or concerns, you can always call, email, or come by. We’d love to see you! And if I can’t answer your questions, I will find someone who can.
Baltimore Clayworks Executive Director