Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Letter from Intermedia Arts

One of the great resources of the Twin Cities has been Intermedia Arts. It was a host to numerous events of great and historic significance to Laotian and Hmong artists and all communities. They've had a wonderful and magnificent vision and it's been exceptional working alongside their volunteers and staff over the years. They've recently issued an urgent request for help, however. A recent letter of theirs explains:
    For over 35 years, Intermedia Arts has served as a resource for our community. The work that we do supports hundreds of artists, arts participants and arts organizations each year. Intermedia Arts is a vital part of our culture and our community: we cannot—we must not—allow this work to disappear.

    So, What Are We Going to Do About It?
    We are going to act, and we need you to act with us. Intermedia Arts can survive this economy. We can even come out on the other side stronger and more sustainable than ever before. But in order to do that, we have to make huge changes in the way we operate, and we have to make them immediately:

    •In January 2009, Intermedia Arts will be moving our five full-time staff members to contract or hourly positions. The work that we do as an organization will be done by our Executive/Artistic Director, Theresa Sweetland; our board of directors; current staff members working as independent contractors, and community volunteers.

    •As of January 9th, we will open only for scheduled events, mostly in the evenings. We will be closing our gallery and eliminating our gallery and poetry library hours but will be expanding our rental programming in our theater, gallery and classrooms. Our building is a valuable asset to the arts community, and we encourage you to look to us for your upcoming rental needs.

    •We are currently working with other local arts groups and organizations to discuss ideas for sharing resources and sustaining our programs. We will also discuss the ways in which our building could be most valuable to the arts community as Intermedia Arts re-structures our operations and rebuilds our capacity.

    •Intermedia Arts has organized a meeting of small and mid-sized arts groups—SOTA: State of the Arts. None of us can do this alone.

    I know. It’s huge. It’s fast. It’s dramatic. But we—our staff, our board, our artists, partners, and funders—all of us, are absolutely committed to ensuring the future of Intermedia Arts. I know you are too.

    Calling On Our Community (This Part is About You)
    We can’t do this without you. Really and truly, whether Intermedia Arts closes its doors or not depends on you. Over the past three years, Intermedia Arts has taken on SASE's literary programs, and together we have developed something truly amazing. This is what I'm asking you to do:

    1. RSVP now. I need you here at Intermedia Arts’ Community Townhall: Rally the People! at 5:30PM on Friday, December 19th. I am asking you to make it a priority to be here, in person. You are our community; we need you to rally with us as we design our future together.

    2. Make a donation. Supporting Intermedia Arts is critical right now, and every dollar counts. We need your support to help us with our general operating expenses as we implement our plan for long-term sustainability. This isn’t about keeping Intermedia Arts open for another month; this is about keeping Intermedia Arts in our community for the long-term. Right now, that future depends on you. Don't wait: make your donation today.

    3: Email us. We need to hear your thoughts, your ideas, your commitment of support, your encouragement, your suggestions and feelings. Send us your questions, tell us what you think, and look to our website for updates, responses, community FAQs, and news each and every step of the way. Email:

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