The ball of wax got thrown into our laps along with everyone else. Last week, we presented Nesbett’s charges and Guild officials responses. True, as one letter said, we didn’t have the time to seek verification of each charge, but we’re digging through it. The reiterations of such charges offer a better clarity, and after the parties involved have had their say we’ll see what’s left.
But let’s take a look at some pertinent relevancies. We’ve witnessed upheaval and grave financial uncertainty in nearly all of Woodstock’s not-for-profits. Several years back it was the Center for Photography and the ousting of its founders; WAAM has seen more than its share of vituperative controversy as its board president was forced out two years or so ago. Those two organizations appear stable for now, but unrest is a constant where fiercely individual artists are forced to work with one another and to have their art considered. The Woodstock Playhouse is in a desperate spiral, shuttered, facing foreclosure, hoping for a miracle benefactor, its future decidedly uncertain. With the economy in bad shape, few can spare the cash to help these struggling organizations.
Yet we also see success when we look at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie, and its Ulster Performing Arts Center. Who’d ever have thought that the once run-down Kingston venue could thrive while Woodstock not-for-profits would suffer? And though it’s not part of the art or music world, a not-for-profit organization like Scenic Hudson flourishes in its mission to keep the Hudson River Valley environmentally safe and sustainable.
There’s a lot of competition out there for the few dollars available, people give to food banks and soup kitchens in such times, when they can afford it. But fund raising is down for our local fire companies (help them out, will ya?)
No one wants to see a board of directors squander a legacy, and everyone wants to see that board of directors keep its charge afloat.
Perhaps a clearing of the air will help the Guild to focus on its mission, make changes where necessary and continue forward. As its officers point out, it is an organization with substantial assets, though they don’t always translate easily in the cash it takes to keep going. ++