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UPDATE! Save Nashville artist William Edmondson's homesite!

Posted in Preservation News, Self-Taught Arts in the News, Take Action, Threatened Environments

After hearing about city plans to sell Edgehill Community Memorial Park, concerned members of the community spoke up in support of preserving the beloved communty park and African-American historical site. Nashville’s municipal government has abandoned plans to sell the land on which artist William Edmondson, the first African-American to ever have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art,  lived for decades. The proposal to sell Edgehill Community Memorial Park to the highest bidder — which includes Edmondson’s homesite where he lived and worked in until his death in 1951 — would have likely resulted in that land being bought by private developers. After the community rallied together and raised their voices, the Metro Budget and Finance Committee voted unanimously to remove the sale of Edgehill Community Memorial Park, also known as the William Edmondson Homesite park and community gardens, from their budget recommendation.

“Their vote sends an unmistakable message that balancing the budget on the backs of neighborhood parks and civic spaces, done behind closed doors in disrespect to the affected community, is not only poor policy, but terrible process,” stated Mark Schlicher, co-chairman of the Save the Edmondson Homesite Park & Gardens Coalition. “We urge the full council to heed the will of the people and the wisdom of the Budget and Finance Committee, and pass the Sledge amendment as part of the budget tomorrow night.”

The proposal to sell the park to the highest bidder was a shock to artists, historians, and the city’s African American community; it also further obscured the legacy of a figure who is often overlooked in Nashville’s history. “We wouldn’t think about taking a bulldozer to the home of Thomas Edison,” said Tennessee State University professor Lee Williams. “These spaces should not be erased from our memory.” In response that the park would be potentially be sold, the art and academic community wrote an open letter opposing the sale and calling for the site’s preservation.  “For too long, the treasure that is William Edmondson has been taken from Nashville and from Edgehill and allowed to enrich other communities,” the letter reads. “It’s time to bring him home.”

William Edmondson’s work was featured in the recent exhibition Outliers and American Vanguard Art. Although his home no longer exists on the grounds of Edgehill Community Memorial Park, the surrounding neighborhood was an important part of his artistic career, and it was a neighborhood that has historically brought together Nashville’s black working class and upper-class white citizens.

 

Save Nashville artist William Edmondson's homesite!

Posted in Preservation News, Take Action, Threatened Environments

 

CLICK HERE to go straight to the petition and sign! 

 

Nashville’s Mayor plans to immediately sell a neighborhood park, which includes the former homesite of William Edmondson, Nashville’s most celebrated African American artist, to private developers to help balance the city budget. If this is approved by Metro Council on June 19, 2018, it will take precious parkland away from citizens, wipe away a historic site, accelerate the destruction of a historic middle- and working-class African American neighborhood, and eliminate a community garden that has served neighborhood families for generations. It will destroy a priceless historical and cultural site that should be preserved and enhanced instead. All with ZERO input from the neighborhood, the historical preservation community, or local or national arts and creative community. It also ignores and disrespects any and all previous land use policy conversations with the neighborhood.

 

Metro Nashville Council votes on its budget, which will authorize selling the land, on June 19. If it passes, we may lose this precious site forever. If we can stop it, we can at least begin a rational discussion as to how to best preserve and develop the property responsibly, as a proper monument to a great artist and as a living legacy that serves all citizens.

 

The petition is for the following:

1. Immediate halt of the sale of this public land to for private gain, and a commitment by the Mayor engage Nashville citizens in the process of preserving and enhancing it.

2. Transfer to the Parks Department and implement a meaningful master planning process, with civic involvement of all stakeholders of the site; for instance including themed playgrounds, integration with the adjacent branch library, a sculpture garden with landscaping, picnic shelters, and educational interpretive displays to share the stories of William Edmondson and other neighborhood heroes, such as pioneering musician Deford Bailey and early 20th century civil rights activist Callie House.

3. The specific section of the property where William Edmondson’s house and studio stood is forever preserved and developed as a site honoring his art and life.

4. The land next to the homesite, which is now parkland and community garden, should be protected as such, and improved via the master planning process.

5. If any other portion of the site is eventually sold to private interests, it must be done within a strict and binding planning framework, including firm safeguards of appropriate zoning and land use policies, that will enhance the neighborhood, not further threaten it.

 

Self-taught limestone sculptor William Edmondson was the first African American artist to receive a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art, in 1937. He is celebrated worldwide for his simple, but subtle, limestone garden sculptures, which are prized by collectors and sell for as much as $250,000. His work, and his story of vision, resourcefulness and faith, continue to inspire new generations of artists locally and around the world. Edmondson’s former homesite, where he lived, created his masterpieces, and died, is currently part of a park that includes a playground, basketball courts, picnic area, and a 25 year old community garden that serves children and families with fresh air, fresh fruits and vegetables, and community interaction.

 

Nashville’s Mayor has suddenly announced plans to rezone and sell this property to private developers “to the highest bidder” to help plug a gap in the city’s 2018-2019 budget. This likely means luxury high-rise condos or similar inappropriate development that will wipe away this treasured land, unless it is stopped.

 

There has been very little outreach by the city to the to the neighborhood to inform them, much less to invite participation in the future if the park. Nashville is booming. Development is proceeding at a feverish pace. Affordable housing is getting scarce. This area is already under tremendous gentrification pressure and the very survival of this historic neighborhood is at stake. The effect of eliminating the park in favor of incompatible development would be catastrophic. Loss of the park would be be a huge blow to the neighborhood’s vibrancy. Loss of the Edmondson homesite would be an irreversible loss of Nashville’s social, cultural, and artistic history. 

 

William Edmondson’s carved tombstones and garden sculptures spoke to the themes of faith, community, connection to the land, and remembrance. His own grave is lost, leaving his homesite —where he lived, worked, and died— as the only physical place where he can properly be honored.

 

SIGN THE PETITION HERE!

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Upcoming Hearing on Historically Designating the Painted Bride Arts Center

Posted in Gardens, Preservation News, Take Action

 

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens seeks to protect important mosaic mural.

 

OLD CITY, PHILADELPHIA:  When it was announced in December that the Painted Bride Art Center was going up for sale, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (PMG) immediately recognized the risk that this posed to the roughly 7,000 square foot mosaic mural on the building’s façade, and is now working to protect this mural through historical designation. A hearing to discuss this historical designation takes place at 9:30 AM on Wednesday, June 20, at 1515 Arch Street.

 

paintedbridewalleditThe Painted Bride Arts Center

 

PMG’s mission is to preserve, interpret, and provide access to Isaiah Zagar’s unique mosaic environment and his public murals. Zagar’s mural at the Painted Bride, located at 230-36 Vine Street, is one of his most iconic works. In the early 1990s Zagar was invited to work on the façade of the Painted Bride building, formerly the Eastern Elevator Co. It provided one of the largest canvases to date for Zagar’s work and was the first time he covered the entire length and height of a building with mosaic mural.

 

In his 1993 article in the Philadelphia Daily News, Ron Avery wrote: “From sidewalk to roof every inch is colorfully painted and decorated in wild, imaginative detail. There are swirls, circles, seashells, Chinese writing and bits and pieces of ceramic birds, butterflies, flowers, human figures, and ceramic feet. ‘Isaiah took a simple industrial building with no character and made it fascinating,’ says Gerry Givnish, executive director of the Painted Bride. ‘Zagar’s weird art has given the Painted Bride near landmark status.’”

 

zagarIsaiah Zager with one of his colorful mosaics

 

PMG’s Executive Director Emily Smith remarks, “As community members, I think it’s important to fight for the character of our city. The history and culture of our streets is what makes Philadelphia such a special place to live. What does it mean if we don’t try to keep our art and the history behind it from being destroyed?”

If the application for historical designation is accepted it would protect the outside of the Painted Bride building from being altered or demolished. PMG has also made the commitment to caretake the mosaic mural in perpetuity.

PMG encourages the public to read the application, and if they support it, voice their opinion and attend the hearing on June 20.

CONTACT:

Emily Smith | 215-733-0390 ext. 113 | esmith@phillymagicgardens.org

_________________________________________________

ABOUT PHILADELPHIA’S MAGIC GARDENS 

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (PMG) is a nonprofit visionary art environment and community arts center located in Isaiah Zagar’s largest public artwork.

Spanning half a block on Philadelphia’s famous South Street, the museum includes an immersive outdoor art installation and indoor galleries. Zagar created the space using nontraditional materials such as folk art statues, found objects, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles, hand-made tiles, and thousands of glittering mirrors. The site is enveloped in visual anecdotes and personal narratives that refer to Zagar’s life, family, and community, as well as references from the wider world such as influential art history figures and other visionary artists and environments.

PMG is a unique Philadelphia destination that inspires creativity and community engagement by providing educational opportunities and diverse public programming to thousands of visitors each year. For more information, visit www.phillymagicgardens.org.

 

See more of Isaiah Zager’s Magic Gardens on SPACES!

Sign petition to save Justo Gallego's Cathedral!

Posted in Religious, Devotional & Spiritual, Take Action, Threatened Environments

 

justo-gallego-cathedral-overview-2008-environmentslideenlarge-1024-1024Justo Gallego's Cathedral in 2008, Jo Farb Hernández.

This petition calls for the municipal offices of Mejorada del Campo, where Justo Gallego has been single-handedly constructing a cathedral dedicated to Our Lady of Pilar, to take whatever steps necessary to support and preserve his work. Recently it seemed that the municipality would accept the responsibility of maintaining and preserving this enormous project – on which 92-year-old Gallego has been working since 1961 – recent troubling developments suggest that they are going back on their word.

 

For more information, please see our webpage about the site:

Justo Gallego’s Cathedral 

 

 

Please sign the petition and help convince the city of Mejorada del Campo to preserve this incredible monument.

View and sign the petition here.

 

Watts Towers needs our help again!

Posted in Take Action, Threatened Environments

Please join us in demonstrating to official Los Angeles and their Department of Cultural Affairs the depth and breadth of support that the Watts Towers and its Arts Center continues to maintain among supporters worldwide.

 

On April 9, Arts Center Director Rosie Lee Hooks was put on a three-week work suspension, effective immediately, punishment for the petty infraction of having a mural of jazz great Charles Mingus (raised in Watts) painted on the very building named after him at the Watts Towers Art Center.

 

The entire Arts Center staff has signed and sent a reasoned and detailed letter to Mayor Garcetti’s office protesting this injustice.

 

We have also learned that Cultural Affairs plans to contract out the production of the Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival and the Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival.

 

Please help us impress upon the representatives of the Los Angeles City government the importance of open communication with the staff of the Watts Towers Arts Center and the support groups who have worked together over years with the community out of which Rodia’s Towers grew.  We ask you to put your name to the letter we have prepared below and to send it to everyone on the “Mail to:” list beneath the letter. 

 

Make whatever changes in the letter you feel will best reflect your perspective. Then, send the letter to the first address on the list (Danielle Brazell, General Manager, Department of Cultural Affairs) and cc all the following names.

 

Please help us to protect the Watts Towers Arts Center, its director and its staff, so they can continue to work for the betterment of the people of Watts and the city of Los Angeles.

 

Thank you!

 

On behalf of

The Watts Towers Community Action Council

The Friends of the Watts Towers Arts Center

The Parents of the Watts Towers Arts Center Campus

The Watts Towers Arts Center Youth Board

 

Learn more about the Watts Towers here: http://spacesarchives.org/explore/collection/environment/watts-towers/

 

Dear Ms. Brazell,

 

I am writing to express my shock and dismay at the shortsightedness of the Department of Cultural Affairs for putting the Director of the Watts Towers Arts Center Campus on an immediate three-week suspension. 

 

Rosie Lee Hooks is an internationally honored community arts administrator and educator who has served the City of Los Angeles and the Watts community for decades. How is it that she is being punished for approving the painting of a mural portrait of the jazz giant Charles Mingus – who grew up in Watts – on the Charles Mingus Youth Arts Center, named for him when it was built more than ten years ago? The department’s action is not only an affront to Ms. Hooks but to the cultural legacy of the community itself.

 

Ms. Hooks has followed in the tradition of all past directors of the Arts Center to bring attention to the artistic heritage of Watts. They have all initiated the murals and mosaics adorning the buildings of the Campus with community artists. None of them were required to seek department approval for such Campus improvements and none of them ever received even so much as a reprimand. 

 

The department’s disproportionate reaction in Ms. Hooks’ case also takes her away from the Campus when she has to plan and organize the Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival and the Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival, scheduled for the end of September.  By effectively shortening the time Ms. Hooks has available to present these world famous events at the level of quality she has for almost 20 years, your department will bear the responsibility for undercutting their success. You must also be aware that if the department attempts to contract out the production of the Festival, this will likewise be regarded as a serious affront not only to the Watts community but to the music community that has participated in the Festivals and the Arts Center’s Jazz Mentorship Program over the years.

 

I stand by Rosie Lee Hooks, the Watts Towers Arts Center Campus staff, and the Watts community support groups. I urge you to reverse Ms. Hooks’ suspension immediately. She must be allowed to work for the betterment of the Campus and the community as she has always done – in the spirit of open communication and mutual cooperation. That is the value of community arts in a healthy society.

 

I ask as well that you help the Campus obtain the support of the City Councilmember to whose district the Watts Towers Arts Center Campus has brought world-class arts exhibitions, and professional arts and music education for over 50 years.       

 

Rodia’s Towers, the Watts Towers Arts Center, and the Charles Mingus Youth Arts Center inspire all who visit with the spirit of freedom, initiative, and multi-ethnic harmony.  The City of Los Angeles cannot afford to have such powerful symbols of peace and community be lost in these troubled times.

 

Sincerely yours,

YOUR NAME

 

In support of

The Watts Towers Community Action Council

The Friends of the Watts Towers Arts Center

The Parents of the Watts Towers Arts Center Campus

The Watts Towers Arts Center Youth Board     

 

Mail to: 

danielle.brazell@lacity.org

daniel.tarica@lacity.org

Leslie.a.thomas@lacity.org

eric.garcetti@lacity.org

barbara.romero@lacity.org

Edgar.garcia@lacity.org

luis.rivera@lacity.org

joel.jacinto@lacity.org

Mike.davis@lacity.org

controller.galperin@lacity.orgj

oe.buscaino@lacity.org

Councilmember.wesson@lacity.org;

david.ryu@lacity.org

councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org

councilmember.price@lacity.org

paul.koretz@lacity.org

Markridley-thomas@bos.lacounty.gov
sawoods@parks.ca.gov

leslie.hartzell@parks.ca.gov

Terry.nicholson@mail.house.gov

Ericfboyd@mail.house.gov

lucy.walker@sen.ca.gov

Holly.mitchell@sen.ca.gov

Michelle.chambers@asm.ca.gov;

Keara.joe@asm.ca.gov

craig.watson@arts.ca.gov

kelan10@att.net

ashley.stracke@lacity.org

 

  

 
 

Raise your voice in support of Philadelphia's Painted Bride!

Posted in Take Action, Threatened Environments

APPLICATION SUBMITTED TO HISTORICALLY DESIGNATE THE PAINTED BRIDE ART CENTER

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens seeks to protect important mosaic mural.

 

Postcard for the “Skin of the Bride” exhibition, 9/19/1993. Don Camera, 1993.Postcard for the “Skin of the Bride” exhibition, 9/19/1993. Don Camera, 1993.

OLD CITY, PHILADELPHIA:  When it was announced in December that the Painted Bride Art Center was going up for sale, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (PMG) immediately recognized the risk that this posed to the roughly 7,000 square foot mosaic mural on the building’s façade.  PMG’s mission is to preserve, interpret, and provide access to Isaiah Zagar’s unique mosaic environment and his public murals. Zagar’s mural at the Painted Bride, located at 230-36 Vine Street, is one of his most iconic works.

In the early 1990s Zagar was invited to work on the façade of the Painted Bride building, formerly the Eastern Elevator Co. It provided one of the largest canvases to date for Zagar’s work and was the first time he created a full sidewalk to roof mosaic mural.

The decision to choose Zagar was apt, since both the artist and the Painted Bride began on South Street in the late 1960s and both were artistically, socially, and politically active in the South Street community. Today, their collaboration on the mosaic façade in Old City commemorates their shared history and dedication to the arts in Philadelphia.

In his 1993 article in the Philadelphia Daily News, Ron Avery wrote: “From sidewalk to roof every inch is colorfully painted and decorated in wild, imaginative detail. There are swirls, circles, seashells, Chinese writing and bits and pieces of ceramic birds, butterflies, flowers, human figures, and ceramic feet. ‘Isaiah took a simple industrial building with no character and made it fascinating,’ says Gerry Givnish, executive director of the Painted Bride. Zagar’s weird art has given the Painted Bride near landmark status.”

PMG’s Executive Director Emily Smith remarks, “As community members, I think it’s important to fight for the character of our city. The history and culture of our streets is what makes Philadelphia such a special place to live. What does it mean if we don’t try to keep our art and the history behind it from being destroyed?”

The application for historical designation would protect the outside of the Painted Bride building from being altered or demolished. It will be reviewed at a hearing at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, April 18, at 1515 Arch Street. PMG encourages the public to read the application, and if they support it, voice their opinion and attend the hearing.

CONTACT:

Emily Smith | 215-733-0390 ext. 113 | esmith@phillymagicgardens.org

____________________________

ABOUT PHILADELPHIA’S MAGIC GARDENS (www.philadelphiasmagicgardens.org)

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (PMG) is a nonprofit visionary art environment and community arts center located in Isaiah Zagar’s largest public artwork.

Spanning half a block on Philadelphia’s famous South Street, the museum includes an immersive outdoor art installation and indoor galleries. Zagar created the space using nontraditional materials such as folk art statues, found objects, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles, hand-made tiles, and thousands of glittering mirrors. The site is enveloped in visual anecdotes and personal narratives that refer to Zagar’s life, family, and community, as well as references from the wider world such as influential art history figures and other visionary artists and environments.

PMG is a unique Philadelphia destination that inspires creativity and community engagement by providing educational opportunities and diverse public programming to thousands of visitors each year. For more information, visit www.phillymagicgardens.org.

 

If you would like to contribute and write a letter of support for the historical designation for the Painted Bride façade , please send to:

Philadelphia Historical Commission
1515 Arch Street, 13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

 

Isaiah Zager in front of mosaic. Ted Degener, 2014. Isaiah Zagar in front of one of his vibrant mosaics. Ted Degener, 2014.

Act Now: Save The Last Resort - A Working Model of Sustainability in Marin County, CA

Posted in Take Action, Threatened Environments

img1983-environmentslideenlarge-1024-1024

 

Here’s your opportunity to voice your support David Hoffman’s The Last Resort house in Luganitas, a community in the Bay Area’s Marin County, California.

By signing the petition at this link, you are supporting the reinstatement of the Marin County Architectural Commission resolution that all 36 structures on the 2-acre property of David Lee Hoffman in Lagunitas constitute a cultural and historic landmark of local importance.

 

titanic2-nyt-jim-wilson-environmentslideenlarge-1024-1024

From the petition:

We feel that David is a visionary who, during the past 40 years, has created solutions to climate change issues that we face as a global community. These solutions lie in the very structures and systems that stand to be destroyed if the Commission’s unanimous ruling continues to be discounted or ignored. We believe the demolition of his work would severely endanger the health, safety, beauty and tranquility of Marin County - and the potential for large-scale solutions that David’s innovation provides.

Be sure to sign the petition today, and show your support for this dynamic ecologically-minded site!

 

And below, see a preview of the the documentary film being made about the threat against this site, for which SPACES Director Jo Farb Hernández was interviewed. Read more about SPACES participation here.

  

The Last Resort: Call To Action from A.J. Marson on Vimeo.

SEARCH: Executive Director, Friends of Fred Smith (Wisconsin Concrete Park)

Posted in Take Action
wismithfoster012-environmentslideenlarge-1024-1024Robert Foster, 1989.

Fans and advocates of Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park in Phillips, Wisconsin should consider applying immediately (there is a short turn-around) for the Executive Director opening for the site’s non-profit institution, the Friends of Fred Smith, Inc. Read the entire announcement below:

 

THE FRIENDS OF FRED SMITH, INC.

Job Opening: Executive Director

In cooperation with Price County, the Friends of Fred Smith, Inc., exists to support the 16 acre Wisconsin Concrete Park and the 237 concrete and glass sculptures created by self-taught artist and retired lumberjack, Fred Smith.  Under the direction of the FoFS Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, the Friends of Fred Smith Executive Director will promote and fulfill the mission and financial objectives of the Friends of Fred Smith, Inc., “… to preserve the Wisconsin Concrete Park and all its resources, including sculptures, landscape, and the Smith Family House, and develop the site as a public educational and cultural facility.”

The Friends of Fred Smith, Inc. (FoFS) seeks a leader who shares our passion for the art of Fred Smith, who believes that creative expression and visual and performing arts are necessary for quality of life and innovative, economic vitality.

 

FoFS values strong, positive and transparent collaborations with several community partners and strives to provide to the public, cultural, historical and artistic resources which have the capacity to broaden our views, expand our collective and individual potentials and bring people together for the common good.

 

To this end, the responsibilities of the Executive Director are as follows:


General Communications

  • Facilitate 2-3 board meetings per year and arrange quarterly Executive and Finance Committee meetings and monthly Educational Programming Committee meetings.

  • Coordinate and produce an Annual Report.

  • Represent and advocate for FoFS and the Wisconsin Concrete Park to the general public.

  • Collaborate with other non-profit and statewide organizations to create a sense of a common good for area residents and promote the FoFS mission.

  • Develop promotional package and ongoing communication with foundation management companies.

  • Develop a good working relationship with all board members. Work closely with the FoFS President to identify organizational needs and facilitate board oversight.

  • Work closely with Conservation Committee Chair to support site preservation; serve as liaison with area technicians.

  • Develop a good working relationship with the Price County Board of Supervisors and heads of the county departments of Forestry and Parks, Tourism and Buildings and Grounds.

 

Fund Raising

  • Expand grant support for FoFS activities and general operating support.

  • Develop a Donor Database.

  • Establish relationships with current Foundations that support FoFS; seek additional foundation support.

  • With the Administrative Assistant, develop and assist in coordinating annual membership drives and fund raising efforts.

  • Working with the Finance Committee, develop a long range strategy for fund raising and long term financial stability.

 

Education, Programming, Events

  • Develop and coordinate activities with area schools.

  • Coordinate Heritage Days, Annual Celebration of Arts in Action and other events held at the Park.

  • Identify community needs and desires to coordinate the educational programming at the park throughout the year in accordance with the FoFS Mission.

  • Develop advanced programming which will provide ongoing educational opportunities in specific media as well as a revenue stream for FoFS.

  • Research other possible venues to serve area residents through introducing the arts into everyday life.

 

Bookkeeping/Clerical

  • Develop and update a digital bookkeeping system including a check book ledger, income and expense spreadsheets, quarterly reports, and profit and loss statements.

  • Develop an annual budget and review with Finance Committee.

  • Handle all accounts payable and receivable.

  • Perform all payroll duties including withholdings and payments to staff, recording data for tax purposes, and overseeing payments to state and federal authorities. Cooperate fully with FoFS accountant to meet all financial and reporting obligations of the organization.

  • Record and track all details and listservs of workshops participants, events, memberships, fund raisers, donors, donations and inventory.

  • Respond to all inquiries in a timely fashion.

  • Work with Administrative Assistant to develop promotional graphics and avenues of dissemination including social media.

 

Volunteerism

  • Develop and coordinate volunteerism in conjunction with the Administrative Assistant and FoFS Committees:  Promotion and Educational Programming, Buildings and Grounds, Finance, Fund Raising and Membership, and Conservation.

  • Pursue collaborations with youth groups to involve them in the Park and instill a sense of “giving back” to the greater community.

 

Supervision

  • Identify organizational needs and initiate recruitment, training and financial sustainability of new employee positions.

  • Supervise staff as may be necessary to achieve the long term goals of FoFS.

 

ATTRIBUTES AND EXPERIENCE 

Requisite Experience and Skills

  • Applicant must have a deep appreciation for the life and art of Fred Smith, and believe that all forms of creative expression are necessary to the enhancement and quality of everyday life.

  • Congenial personality, must enjoy working with people of all ages.

  • Excellent organizational, leadership, and financial management skills.

  • Solid interpersonal and collaborative experience.

  • Proficient with all Microsoft Office programs, especially Excel, Publisher and Outlook.

  • Proficient in internet and social media platforms.

  • Excellent time management skills

  • Experience in policies, procedures and good governance practices

 

Preferred Attributes

  • Non-profit management and/or arts administration experience

  • College Degree in related field

  • Program assessment and project management skills

  • Photoshop proficiency

Located in Wisconsin’s northwoods, Phillips is a small city in a largely rural area with small, local businesses and a few larger corporations. Located on State Highway 13, an artery to northwoods vacationlands, by car Phillips is approximately 4 hours from Minneapolis/St. Paul, 5 hours from Madison, 5 ½ hours to Milwaukee, and 7 hours from Chicago. X miles to Ashland and Lake Superior.  Wisconsin is home to a remarkable number of vernacular art environments. Friends of Fred Smith participates in the Wandering Wisconsin consortium and in communication with colleagues at Nick Engelbert’s Grandview (Hollandale), the Herman Rusch Prairie Moon Museum (Cochrane), the Paul and Matilda Wegner Grotto (Cataract), the James Tellen Woodland Sculpture Garden, The Mary Nohl Home and Sculpture Garden, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan).

 

THE FRIENDS OF FRED SMITH OFFERS:

  • Professional development opportunities at an art environment recognized nationally and internationally as a leading vernacular art site.

  • A natural environment of rural beauty amidst lakes, forests, rivers and wild creatures, easily accessible by well-maintained hiking, biking and motorized trails.

  • A welcoming community of people who value this area’s natural heritage.

  • An opportunity for independence and flexibility in the workplace at an art environment with a great potential for positively affecting the people’s lives.

  • Industry competitive salary and benefits commensurate with entry-level administrative positions.

 

INTERESTED CANDIDATES should contact MARISSA RAAB at Express Pros: 

marissa.raab@expresspros.com / 715-785-7905

 

Salvation Mountain Update

Posted in Take Action, Threatened Environments

Most who know the story of how Leonard Knight’s Salvation Mountain came to be or have visited the Dr. Seussian spectacle rising triumphantly out of the monochromatic Sonoran Desert landscape realize the fragility of this incredible monument to God’s love as understood by Knight (1931 – 2014). After falling down several years into its making, Knight adjusted his technique and began packing handmade adobe into the side of an existing cliff face, then applying coats upon coats of technicolor paint as a strikingly beautiful layer of protection.

svm2Photo: Annalise Taylor. December 26, 2016.

The Mountain is incredibly vulnerable to the elements, and deserts like the Sonoran present some of the harshest conditions on the planet – a dehydrated and utterly unprotected landscape. Considering the intentions behind Knight’s creation – that it exist almost as a beckoning mirage, attracting its seekers and mere passersby alike – to cut off visitor access in order to protect the integrity of the structure would be counterintuitive to its most basic function. Not to mention, any attempt to provide significant protection for the structure from both visitors and the desert conditions would be a prohibitively expensive endeavor. Thus, Salvation Mountain will continue to exist as it has for the past 30 years – open to all who visit and susceptible to whatever may come its way.

However, the Mountain does not stand alone but rather with a team of dedicated and passionate protectors who continue the never-ending process of fixing what fails. The reality of the open-air site is that without constant care, it will degrade over time. Salvation Mountain’s board of directors, Salvation Mountain, Inc., has employed a site docent, Ella Hare, as well as a caretaker, Ron, to explain Knight’s story of love and dedication, be vigilant when visitors are present, and make necessary repairs.

svm3Photo: Annalise Taylor. December 26, 2016.

During my last visit on December 26, 2016, I had a lengthy conversation with Ron about the current plans for the Mountain. The area had experienced significant rainfall over the previous two weeks, so the Mountain and the Museum were off limits to visitors until the area was completely dry. It was heartening to see a wealth of visitors complying with the signage directing them to observe from a distance rather than walking on the Mountain or the Sea of Galilee. The site continues to attract visitors though it has been several years since Knight was present to act as the Mountain’s very charismatic host and guide; Ron said he encountered hundreds of people over the Christmas holiday.

 Ron enthusiastically explained his plans to continue making significant conservation efforts to the Mountain; however, there is no intention to stray whatsoever from the appearance of the site as it was when Knight was present. He and a team of volunteers are working to reinforce the delicate hay bale and car window roof of the Museum with more bales and additional packed adobe and paint. Additionally, the downward slope to the left of the center of the mountain has been packed with an adobe base layer so that the red tree with branching beatitudes like “faith,” “love,” and “meekness” can be recreated. It’s clear that Ron, who is a relatively new caretaker, feels very dedicated to the immense task ahead of him and hopes do his work in the spirit of Knight.   

svm4Photo: Annalise Taylor. December 26, 2016.

Salvation Mountain is currently listed by SPACES as “threatened,” and I believe this to be true. While repairs are made when sections of the mountain disintegrate, largescale damage due to a natural disaster, which could conceivably strike at any moment, would probably prove unmanageable. However, as long as the members of Salvation Mountain, Inc. and its team remain dedicated to their labor of love – maintaining and protecting the site – I believe Salvation Mountain will continue to thrive, and most importantly, reflect the original spirit of its humble creator, Leonard Knight.

~Annalise Taylor

TAKE ACTION: Tell City Officials to Support the Watts Towers Arts Center and its Programs

Posted in Preservation News, Take Action

 

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 Dear Friends,

 

Last week, the 40th Annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival and the 35th Annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival survived a SERIOUS THREAT from the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs.  Due to their stated administrative strictures, they were going to withhold resources essential for the Festivals’ presentation this year.  At the last minute, after months of sporadic discussions with Watts Towers Arts Center Campus staff and Campus community support groups, the present crisis was averted.

 

We ask you now to help us avoid such a crisis in the future!  We need to show official Los Angeles the depth of support that the Watts Towers and its Arts Center has.  Help us impress upon the representatives of Los Angeles city government the importance of open communication with the staff of the Watts Towers Arts Center and the representatives of the Campus community support groups who have worked over the years on site to plan, organize and present these vital community events.

 

 

We ask you to put your name to the letter we have prepared below and to send it to everyone on the “Mail to:” list beneath the letter.  

Make whatever changes in the letter you feel will better reflect your perspective. Then send the letter to the first address on the list (Danielle Brazell, General Manager, Department of Cultural Affairs) and cc all the following names.

 

 

Please join us in continuing to protect the Watts community from the possibility of losing these public festival treasures that have represented our cultural heritage over four decades.

 

Thank you.

 

 

[SAMPLE LETTER below]

 

Dear Ms. Brazell,

 

I am grateful that the Department of Cultural Affairs has removed the obstructions threatening the production of the 40th Annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival and the 35th Annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival, scheduled for presentation on September 24 and 25.  It is appalling to think that these cultural heritage treasures – the oldest continuously running annual music festivals offered free to the public in the City of Los Angeles – might not have been presented this year.  

 

I stand by the Watts Towers Arts Center Campus staff and community support groups. I urge you to allow them in the spirit of open communication and mutual cooperation to continue to serve the City and our community and to showcase the riches of our cultural heritage under one of the world’s great monuments of architectural sculpture.

 

I ask as well that you help them seek the support of the City Councilman in whose district the Watts Towers Arts Center Campus has served to bring world-class arts exhibitions and professional arts and music education for over 50 years.       

 

Rodia’s Nuestro Pueblo, the Watts Towers Arts Center and these historic heritage festivals are beacons of freedom, initiative and multi-ethnic harmony.  The City of Los Angeles cannot afford to have such powerful symbols of peace and community be lost in these troubled times that we all must face together.

 

Sincerely yours,

YOUR NAME

 

In support of 

The Watts Towers Community Action Council

The Friends of the Watts Towers Arts Center

The Parents of the Watts Towers Arts Center Campus

The Watts Towers Arts Center Youth Board     

 

 

Mail to:

 

danielle.brazell@lacity.orgdaniel.tarica@lacity.orgLeslie.a.thomas@lacity.orgeric.garcetti@lacity.orgbarbara.romero@lacity.org

Edgar.garcia@lacity.orgluis.rivera@lacity.orgJoel.jacinto@la.city.orgMike.davis@lacity.orgcontroller.galperin@lacity.org

joe.buscaino@lacity.orgCouncilmember.wesson@lacity.orgdavid.ryu@lacity.org; councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org; councilmember.price@lacity.org; paul.koretz@lacity.org; Markridley-thomas@bos.lacounty.gov; sawoods@parks.ca.gov; leslie.hartzell@parks.ca.gov; Terry.nicholson@mail.house.gov; 

Ericfboyd@mailhouse.gov; lucy.walker@sen.ca.gov; Holly.mitchell@sen.ca.gov; Michelle.chambers@asm.ca.gov

Keara.joe@asm.ca.gov; craig.watson@arts.ca.gov; kelan10@att.netwatts.towers1@lacity.org

 

 

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