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[BKARTS] Lance Weatherby reply



Fyi, I send along a brief reply from Lance Weatherby to my email. He
simply copied my letter and then added his responses. To keep this a
manageable length, I'll start each section with an edited bit from my
original sections, and then present his answers. I have taken heart from
his last statement, which focuses on a future for the Press, whatever
that may be.

As to Lance's request for access to this list, I've sent him that
information, and also offered to forward messages for him, should he
wish it.  BB
---

BB. I begin with a point that you chose to end with. I was struck with
your
citing that the individuals who have written letters on behalf of Nexus
represent few actual purchasers of Nexus Press books, or members (read:
donors) of the Press....I simply do not understand your reliance
on a dollar amount, as a means of the (de)valuation of a particular
writer's comments.

LANCE> I nor The Contemporary are trying to belittle your comments by
attaching a monetary value to them.  The point that we were trying to
make, and perhaps made it poorly, is that the community while valuing
Nexus Press does not value it enough to support it.

BB. For that matter, your presumption re: book buying is, at least in my

case, simply wrong.

LANCE> I am sorry for the perceived error. What my note said was "most"
and that holds true.  Perhaps I should have spent more time researching
each
letter writer but I am doing this on a volunteer basis.

BB. I must add that there are many ways to support the operations of a
Press--again, we exist in the non-profit world.

LANCE> Thank you for mentioning us. This type of word of mouth is deeply
valued.

BB. I wish to return to your further critique that few of the letter
writers
are members of Nexus Press. This is true in my case....However, had I
been contacted ahead of time...I would have certainly responded to
the best of my ability. I am surprised that your comments--again--imply
a critique of an audience for not donating to a facility, when your
audience has not been kept informed of the developing crisis. A message
to the BookArts list, for example, costs nothing, and reaches an
extensive audience.

LANCE> I do not have access to the BookArts list. If you can tell me how
to get it or grant such access it would be appreciated. The Atlanta
Contemporary
Art Center ran a deficit of $145,000 in 2002. The plan was to run a
balanced budget in 2003.  When some funds that were expected were not
forthcoming, cut backs had to be made in several areas. The Contemporary
is
currently not running any programs that are not specifically funded.

BB. Financial crises are horrendous events which afflict most
non-profits.
MCBA nearly shut down about 6 years ago due to a financial crisis.
(etc.)

LANCE> I am meeting with the Friends of the Press on a regular basis.
They are trying to mobilize and I am trying to help them.

BB. Third, as to your noting the imminent meeting of a task force, I
sincerely hope that that group includes members of the Nexus Press
artist community, as well as board and "community members."

LANCE>  The group includes John McWilliams the founder of the Nexus
Press; Lisa Hart, an artist and board member; Joe Massey, a long time
supporter, Joia Johnson, an attorney and board member, Val Porter,
Fulton County Arts Council; and myself, a board member and business
person.

BB. Fourth, you indicate that Nexus has not generated nearly enough book

revenue or other restricted financial support to pull its own weight for

several years....I question the simple equation of stating that not
enough money has been raised, because the dollars generated for a
program often result from the amount of effort put toward grantwriting
for that particular program, and certainly not only from a program's
intrinsic value. My question, then, would be just what percentage of the
development officer's time was directed toward the Press, as compared to
other programming entities...and whether efforts
were made to create other potential revenue streams for the Press, such
as, for example, incorporating youth educational programs within the
Press, since those programs more easily attract funders.

> I do not know the specific answer to your question. I do know that it
was
small based on the historical inability to raise money for the Press. I
like your youth thought. I personally think the Contemporary could do
more in this area.

BB. I appreciate your taking the time to read this letter.

LANCE>  The biggest objective is to find a way to make the Press viable
for the long run. Thank you for your comments.

Lance

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