Thursday, April 15, 2010

Artists and art lovers--speak up now before it's too late!

Below is a letter sent to the Orlando Sentinel today voicing concerns about the proposed Maitland Art Center (MAC)/Maitland Historical Society merger. Please send this link to any others who need to be informed (especially MAC members who may be called on to vote on the merger.) Those who are not MAC members--now may be a good time to became one and ensure that MAC is properly cared for so future generations can enjoy it. Thanks


To the Editor:

It was disturbing to find out recently that the annual fundraiser, pARTicipation, for the Maitland Art Center (MAC) has been cancelled for 2010. This event is key in helping to raise money necessary to keep the center operating successfully and is especially critical in this difficult recession. The reason given for the cancellation is due to possible conflicts with the Maitland Historical Society’s fundraiser. This is especially troubling considering the Maitland Historical Society recently received a $1 million donation from The Morgan Group, developers of the Village at Lake Lily. It appears the crucial fundraiser this year should be for MAC which has not been the beneficiary of such largess.

Promoting one organization at the expense of the other calls into doubt the assurances given to MAC members that the proposed merger between MAC and the Maitland Historical Society will be mutually beneficial and will not allow one group to dominate the other.
MAC is a community treasure as well as a long-standing vital asset to the local creative arts community. It must not be starved of the critical funding it needs to survive these tough times. We can’t afford to let any of our fine art institutions be mishandled and we urge everyone to become involved and ask pertinent questions about the merger and its impact to MAC. Actions do speak louder than words and it now seems the merger between MAC and Maitland Historical Society doesn’t appear to be as positive as it’s been portrayed.

Mr. & Mrs. Gerard Bell

1 comment:

  1. We appreciate the concerns and passion that many members of the community feel for the Maitland Art Center, including yours. For that reason, we have reached out to the community to hear their concerns and suggestions regarding the merger. After hundreds of hours of volunteer time, we are approaching the culmination of a process that would merge the two non-profit corporations.
    The benefits of the merger are many. For instance as it pertains to fundraising, increasingly, as your members may know, granting entities want their dollars to impact as many people as possible. By merging with the Maitland Historical Society, the Maitland Art Association will increase its membership base, making it more attractive to potential donors. With the enhanced fiscal capacity of a larger institution the potential exists to create a combined campus with a new museum building and additional classroom space, establishing an enriched cultural destination. The expansion of our facilities and programs will help bring to fruition Andre Smith's vision and dream as well as revitalizing the cultural corridor of Maitland.
    There has been a shift in how museums and other nonprofits are structured; the trend is toward interdisciplinary programs. As art and history are closely related fields, a multidisciplinary approach would offer a broader and richer experience for visitors and students without sacrificing anything that makes the Maitland Art Center unique. This comprehensive approach to our mission will not only strengthens how we foster, create and exhibit art, but how we preserve, interpret, and study history.
    We agree with all your characterizations of the treasure that is the Maitland Art Center and we remain adamant in trying to protect this legacy. In addition, please be assured that we believe wholeheartedly in pARTicipation. It is a one-of-a-kind event in Central Florida and one of our signature fundraising events. Scheduling conflicts with other art events left us with little options but to reschedule the event for next year.
    Roger Pickar
    Vice Chairman of the Maitland Art Center