|Pacific Textile Arts|
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Dear Friends of the Textile Arts An Urgent Message
As many of you know, Pacific Textile Arts is a non-profit organization devoted to furthering education, dialogue and support for a broad range of textile and related arts. We are centered on the Mendocino Coast but our membership includes fiber enthusiasts from all areas in California and many from out of state.
Thirteen years ago we wrote to you describing the possibility of our buying a piece of land with a small Victorian house at the front of a lot in the city of Fort Bragg. With the help of many of you, we were able to buy the property which we now use as our headquarters and library. Asking for money beyond the cost of sending out a quarterly newsletter ($15) is not something we enjoy or take lightly. But we again find ourselves in an urgent situation which prompts us to do so.
Those of you who receive our newsletter know that we’ve been teaching children to weave and spin in our small front room gallery and our kitchen. Since we also have been mounting exhibitions in the gallery, accompanied by First Friday open house events and other meetings, we find ourselves in a serious teaching space crunch. When events are about to happen, all the children’s looms and equipment must be carried into the small back porch space and then moved back in time for the classes. This places a serious burden on the teachers volunteering their time. We have long dreamed of building three classrooms and several low cost student housing units in our back yard, but we simply have not been able to raise the funds for these projects and now find ourselves in the midst of a serious statewide financial downturn which does not bode well for acquiring large capital funds.
Rather than give up, we recently followed a lead which resulted in an offer of a gift by our local school superintendant of two well used portable buildings which had been replaced by new buildings in Fort Bragg schools. One of these steel framed buildings is a double wide which provides 960 square feet of teaching space. The other one, also steel framed, is a single wide building which would be just large enough to house our rapidly growing textile arts library. We have completely outgrown the small room in the house where the library now resides. These buildings are insulated and come with electric heaters. To move the two buildings from their present site across town and install them on our property would cost us at least $50,000. That is, for us, a lot of money and what they will provide is quite a change from our original dream. But there is an amazing synchronicity about the timing of the school district’s offer. Just this month, the College of the Redwoods has announced that next year they will no longer be able to afford including the “for credit” weaving and dyeing classes our community has long come to depend on. If we can install this classroom and library space we can provide the safety net we have always felt was part of our mission.
So, though we began thinking of the buildings as a way to benefit our hard working volunteer teachers and our dedicated young students, we may also be able to provide space for floor looms, enabling us to either cosponsor the adult classes or provide the space for contract teachers to organize comparable classes. We have all been hearing of textile arts programs being eliminated from museums, art centers and colleges. A new location for our serious textile library would also be a big plus for all concerned.
We feel strongly that it is right to pursue this project. We have a beautiful piece of property which belongs to all of us as a non-profit and we are keeping the textile arts alive and well on the coast. We know that participating in weaving, spinning, quilting, knitting and related activities, answers a human need for creative exploration and aesthetic expression. It provides children and adults with activities that utilize their brains and bodies in a satisfying and productive manner. Art and cottage industry training are both served.
These are hard times, but we are hoping that you will help us in the same way you did thirteen years ago. Again, in order to expedite collection of funds, we are asking you to go together with friends to make pledges of $50, $100, $500, $1000 or more. We’re not asking you to send money but we are asking for a firm pledge and that participants be prepared to send the money swiftly if we reach our goal so that we can contract to prepare our site, move the buildings and place them for use on our grounds. We would like to install a Baltic birch plywood floor over the existing floors to insure even weight distribution. We know these are not the gorgeous buildings we once envisioned constructing, but they represent a very generous offer from a community entity to help us provide the classes we feel are so important to students. If we can install these buildings we will beautify them with paint, trellises, vines and other planting.
As was the case when we fund-raised for the property, there is an urgency because we cannot expect the school district to hold these buildings for us over an unreasonable period of time. This project is for all of us, so please contact us in writing, email or by phone if you would like to help us with this endeavor. We will only call in your pledge if we reach our goal. If you would prefer to simply send a donation, that would of course be greatly appreciated. We will place contact information on our web site and keep you abreast of developments as the next month progresses.
We have raised $54,000 in pledges and outright donations so far. Return to this "Urgent" page for updates. Please feel free to copy this page and pass it on to friends. Activity seems to be slowing down now so If you would like some brochures to pass out to your textile arts supporting friends, contact us and we'll send them to you. Think about telling your friends that moving these buildings to our property is the best possible kind of recycling. It is good for everyone. Thanks so much. THE JOB HAS BEGUN! We have actually collected $48,000 and are requesting that everyone send in their pledged checks as quickly as possible. Thanks to everyone who has participated and those about to do so. For a reminder of how much you pledged, email to:
firstname.lastname@example.org We'll get right back to you.
You can reach us in the following ways:
Write to: Pacific Textile Arts, 450 Alger Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for considering this request.
Sincerely, Jackie Wollenberg, Vice president, Pacific Textile Arts
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