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About the Present Situation with The Bead Museum
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Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/24/2009, 13:53:21

Dear Forumites,

The message below is taken from a plea sent earlier today from Alice Scherer to members of Beads-L. It expresses the very real concerns happening in the Bead Community, about the possible loss of the most important resource we have—The Bead Museum. Please read this, and give it some serious consideration.

THANKS! Jamey

An open letter to the Bead Community
I ask as a personal favor that you please read all the way through my letter before discarding, if you so choose. Some of you may have received more than one copy. If so, I offer my apologies.
This letter is about the current status of the Bead Museum of Arizona, the original bead museum begun by Gabrielle and Ted Liese in the mid-1980s. This museum is the repository for :
· the collections of Peter Francis Jr. (The Center for Bead Research), including a many hundreds of bead sample cards collection (for more on the effort to preserve Peter’s collection, you may visit http://home.europa.com/~alice/Peter_Francis.html#Peter_Home);
· the vast majority of the artifacts collection of the Center for the Study of Beadwork, including what may well be the largest collection of bead looms in the world, as well as nearly 100 bead sample cards, and a slide bank of thousands of slides of the work of contemporary beadworkers from the United States, Europe and Asia in the period around the late 1980s and ‘90s (pre-The New Beadwork);
· an extensive collection of beads, necklaces and relevant artifacts from Asian, African , Latin American and European sites donated by the Lieses, Lois Dubin and other long-time collectors;
· a collection of the work of contemporary glass bead makers starting with those of the early period in the 1980's and '90's who exhibited in the ground-breaking 1993 exhibit at the Bead Museum, and, by no means the least;
· the Library: several thousand books and periodicals originally started as a private Art Library and grown to a valuable Research Library about the history of personal adornment, which includes important information on the history of glass.

Also included in the collections are archived letters and papers of
· Elizabeth Harris
· Peter Francis, Jr.
· Lady Gloria Dale
· Albert Summerfield, and
· Michael Heide, among many others.

I had always assumed my own personal papers and remaining archives, as well as a large seed bead collection and an exhaustive library on beadwork, would end up at this Museum, as well as perhaps the papers related to the Society of Bead Researchers. Now I wonder where this material will go.
The Bead Museum is the collective memory of the bead community for the last quarter century of the 20th century. It is utterly critical that this material be preserved, one way or another.
Today, we are on the edge of a sword in this community. In December, the DC Bead Museum closed its doors. Now, without a substantial infusion of money, the Arizona museum will likely follow suit. By substantial, I mean monies equivalent to that necessary to support the Museum for the next year, about $200-225,000, while grant proposals are submitted for funds necessary to function beyond a year from now. Missed fundraising opportunities in 2008 by former staff created a gap in operating funds for 2009 and that, coupled with the current state of the economy, has brought the Bead Museum to this point of dramatic need, the first time since its inception 23 years ago. Failing the ability to raise $200,000, which frankly will require one or more Financial Angels, the Museum board will likely vote at its meeting in March or April, 2009 to close the Museum’s doors.
This letter has two purposes: One is to cast the net as wide as possible in hopes that that elusive Financial Angel (or angels) makes him, her or themselves known and to gain some sense of what sort of serious support might be required to carry the Museum long into the future. The alternative, and sadly more realistic, task is to begin preparing for the difficult and time-consuming job of closing down the Museum and getting its collections into other hands.
If there are angels who could pledge $20,000 or more toward the effort to preserve the Museum and its collections intact, please contact me at alice@europa.com or call me at 503-655-3078 (Oregon). Or if you are more comfortable, by all means contact the acting Director of the Bead Museum, Kelly Norton, at director@beadmuseumaz.org
In the meantime, if you are not currently a member of the Bead Museum, please join. The cost for an individual member is $40 and here is the web address: http://www.beadmuseumaz.org/membership.htm
Joining isn’t so much about getting a big flashy newsletter on a regular basis or being able to have the Museum be your second home as you live in the Phoenix area. It is about contributing to the preservation of something that is part of all our lives, whether we sell beads, make beads, use beads, wear beads, or research them. This Museum is the repository of information and the keeper of the history of all these groups. And if it proves necessary to close the Museum, then your membership funds will enable the Museum to wind down in dignified fashion. However, if enough people join, then the Museum can get that much closer to getting to the point where those grant proposals can start coming through.
If, no matter what we do, the Museum will sadly need to close, then ideas for where the collection could go (intact) or be apportioned out (if separated into smaller segments) are welcome. We especially wish to have contact with persons having serious contacts at museums, who may be able to share ideas or help make plans.
In somber reflection on these troubling times,
Alice Scherer
Founder, Center for the Study of Beadwork
Portland, Oregon
alice@europa.com



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Some serious angels are needed in these times.
Re: About the Present Situation with The Bead Museum -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
03/25/2009, 05:04:59

If anyone has contacts in any major museums, such as the Smithsonian, make that contact re. the Bead Museum. Perhaps such an institution could help, or house and display.


Related link: http://beadmuseumaz.org/

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Very serious Situation with The Bead Museum
Re: About the Present Situation with The Bead Museum -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Russ Nobbs Post Reply
03/25/2009, 08:02:49

"....will likely vote at its meeting in March or April, 2009 to close the Museum’s doors. "

This does not give us much time for fund raising.

As a repository, The Bead Museum is critical to our industry / hobby / passion.

In this economy, angels may be scarce. 1800 individuals with $100 donations and 20 who can give $1000 may be more realistic.

I'll do what I can do and publicize this need as widely as I can through Rings & Things website and publications.



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Thanks Russ! We need all the help we can find.
Re: Very serious Situation with The Bead Museum -- Russ Nobbs Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/25/2009, 09:39:00



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Donating to The Bead Museum has been simplified
Re: About the Present Situation with The Bead Museum -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
03/26/2009, 16:21:44

An important update from Alice Scherer:

Hello all,

After I whined to The Bead Museum folk about how tedious it was to make an online donation using their website and shopping cart system and suggesting donations via PayPal, bam, quick as a bunny they made the change to the website! So anyone who would like to make a donation to The Bead Museum may now do so easily. Simply go to www.beadmuseumaz.org, find the Donate button on the left, click on it and follow the PayPal prompts from there.

There’ll be a more extensive update letter to follow in the next day or two, but in the short term, I’m very encouraged by the response my letter got. There are caring people out in the world who are coming to help. Please know, however, that many more are needed. This is too big a project for only a handful of people. The more ideas and contacts we can generate, the better. The Museum is not out of the woods yet, but I am heartened by the glimmers of light I’m seeing.

Best regards,
Alice Scherer, Founder
Center for the Study of Beadwork
Portland, Oregon


Related link: www.beadmuseumaz.org

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Thanks Joyce! I was just about to post this myself.
Re: Donating to The Bead Museum has been simplified -- Joyce Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/26/2009, 17:55:37



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Really hoping they recognize help when it presents itself....
Re: About the Present Situation with The Bead Museum -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
03/29/2009, 18:35:34



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Re: About the Present Situation with The Bead Museum
Re: About the Present Situation with The Bead Museum -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: dannoh40 Post Reply
03/30/2009, 07:36:27

One question...If these bead museums close, What happens to all the beads? Do they dissapear with the staff, do they (the beads) get sold or do we some how lose them forever?
I've heard a lot about how important the museums are, but nothing about what might or will happen to those collections.
Does anybody know what will happen to the beads? (if they close)



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Re: The Bead Museum
Re: Re: About the Present Situation with The Bead Museum -- dannoh40 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/30/2009, 13:36:44

Dear Dannoh,

These issues are addressed by the Mission Statement and incorporated bylaws of The Museum. Please see my message to the Bead Community below:

Hi you all,

I understand that there is some confusion (mostly due to conflicting stories or ideas being passed around), and some concern about the prospects for The Bead Museum, and possible future steps that may be taken.

First, allow me to say that I have worked with the Founder and with The Museum for over fifteen years—primarily as a guest Curator and Consultant. However, I am here now in the capacity of being an interested party, and not as anything like an official representative of The Museum. Nevertheless, I am confident that what I have to say about the issues we are concerned with is true and candid. What you get from me is essentially my perspective and opinion (just as with any post or series I leave here). I am in daily communication with the people who are participating in the cause to save The Bead Museum from an unexpected reversal of its secure future.

The Collections

The beads and artifacts that belong to The Bead Museum can only be dealt with according to the Mission Statement formed with the Museum's founding. It states that if the Museum were to close, the holdings would be turned-over to another institution that is known to have a similar mission, for collecting, curating, preserving, studying, and exhibiting items of personal adornment, and providing/facilitating their study and conservation. There is no danger that the Collections will be sold-off, nor appropriated by staff nor anyone else.

The Present Problem

Like any institution, in these difficult financial times, The Bead Museum has hit a snag in its usual funding. The previous Director left a few months ago, and the current interim Director has just recently arrived, and is finding her way around. Certain actions, such as routine grant-raising that should have been performed last year were not followed through. Because of the economic crisis we are (all) in, certain monies are (temporarily) not available. However, once this country returns to a stable economy, I trust this unexpected problem will also turn around. Also, the new Director is noted for fund-raising abilities—but she must have some time to get the wheels rolling. (It doesn't happen overnight—anymore than our grassroots campaign to help the Museum is immediate, for that matter.)

The Solution

The Bead Museum needs a fast infusion of funds to keep going for at least a year, until things settle and return to normal (or better than normal). The campaign to assist in this effort is geared to help in two ways. Everyone knows that most people, right now, are feeling the crunch of our collective economic situation. However, if many people were able to make a small donation to the Museum (say $200.), this would quickly add up to the running expenses the Museum needs to operate for the rest of the year. Then, if there were a person/party/entity that could afford to support The Museum through offering a greater endowment (or several such entities), the Museum would be even better secured.

The present outreach asks for both small and large donations, as outlined above. No one expects little people to bear big burdens to keep the Museum active. But it's hoped that the assistance of many will add up to a meaningful sum. And it's also hoped that something like corporate funding can be found to insure the security of The Bead Museum into the future.

Not To Worry

At this time, I believe The Museum is not going to flounder and disappear. It is going to get over a rocky pass, with the help of many concerned individuals—who will rally to help. However, a pro-active and realistic stance that must also be addressed is what to do in case of the worst-case scenario. There must be a strategy in place, if the worst were to happen. And there are people addressing this issue, and conferring to decide what would happen to everything were the Museum to close. EVERY OPTION is being investigated! This includes temporary storage issues, finding another institution, moving the Museum, and EVERYTHING ELSE you can imagine. Please let these people do their work, and don't muddy the waters through unfounded rumor, or careless speculation.

And PLEASE do what you can to help us get through this crisis.

Thanks!

Jamey



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From the Director
Re: Re: The Bead Museum -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/31/2009, 17:36:02

This message was sent around today from Kelly Norton, the Director of The Bead Museum:


Save The Bead Museum

March 30, 2009

Dear Members and Friends

We are sending you this letter because you are a valued member or friends of our museum and we are in need of the support which our membership and closest friends can give during these tough economic times. As many of you have been hearing, the current economic downturn has dramatically impacted many of the arts organizations in Arizona and around the country. Unfortunately, The Bead Museum has not been spared.

The Board of Directors has taken numerous steps to balance the budget: eliminating staff, closing two days a week and cutting operating expenses by 37%. The Bead Museum store has been doing exceptionally well which is in thanks to many of you who regularly shop with us. Unfortunately, the Museum cannot be sustained long-term on museum visitors, memberships and programs alone. We are in the process of a $200,000 sustainability campaign but need to raise $100,000 of that goal by April 30th. This funding is needed to allow us time so that we can continue our fund development plan to insure the long term financial health of the Museum.

Beads and beaded artifacts are a universal part of the human experience since the beginning of civilization. They are found in every culture and in every country across the globe. The Bead Museum has provided true community service through its many school programs, monthly lectures, guided tours, beading classes and world-renowned research library. Its exciting exhibitions and educational research have attracted visitors from all over the world. In 2008, through all of our programming over 60,000 visitors came in contact with the Museum. We are now the only museum in the world housing this type of collection since the recent closing of a similar museum in Washington, D.C.

Without immediate financial support from the community and members like you, The Bead Museum is in jeopardy of closing its doors at the end of May. Please don’t let this treasure be lost. Your donation, of any amount, will give the Museum time to establish long term partnerships and pursue additional grants. Thank you in advance for preserving one of Arizona’s arts and cultural treasures.

To make an online donation, please visit www.beadmuseumaz.org.

Sincerely,

Susan Flint Kelly Norton
Chairman Executive Director
The Bead Museum Board of Directors



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Posted this plea at forums and twitter
Re: From the Director -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Russ Nobbs Post Reply
04/01/2009, 12:21:50

I posted this plea for funds on a number of Bead forums including the Rings & Things forum. One of Softflex's marketing staffer (Sara Hardin in Phoenix) and Dave Robertson, my staffer who works with bead societies, tweeted about the need on Twitter. We will add it to other places as we find opportunities.

Oh, yes, we are sending money, too.

Does anyone know if the new director has contacted Bead Societies?



Modified by Russ Nobbs at Wed, Apr 01, 2009, 12:22:25

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Re: Bead Societies
Re: Posted this plea at forums and twitter -- Russ Nobbs Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
04/01/2009, 12:55:31

hi Russ,

Thanks so much for your actions, and donation, for The Bead Museum.

The Director has no outreach to Bead Societies that I know of. After all, there is no current master list of Societies to work from. However, this is being handled by a volunteer, who is very dedicated to helping the process, and is herself a Bead Society President. So rest assured—every possible avenue is being addressed.

Be well. Jamey



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Bead Societies
Re: Re: Bead Societies -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
04/01/2009, 14:48:41

Here's Bead and Button's list of 57 bead societies - the contact info may not all be current.


Related link: Bead Societies

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Relatively up to date list of Bead Societies on Rings & Thing site
Re: Bead Societies -- Joyce Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Russ Nobbs Post Reply
04/01/2009, 16:07:29

At Rings & Things we actually maintain a Bead Society list by contacting each one once or twice a year.
The list includes e-mail addresses for many but not all in the list.
Please see http://www.rings-things.com/BEAD-SOC.HTM


Related link: Updated list.

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Russ, thanks, I'd forgotten how to find yours!
Re: Relatively up to date list of Bead Societies on Rings & Thing site -- Russ Nobbs Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
04/01/2009, 16:27:22



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Google is my best friend
Re: Relatively up to date list of Bead Societies on Rings & Thing site -- Russ Nobbs Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Russ Nobbs Post Reply
04/01/2009, 18:29:29

A Google search for "list of bead societies" or "Bead society list" brings up our list in the top few links. Our list also included many bead related guilds and meetups.


Related link: Bead Society list
Modified by Russ Nobbs at Wed, Apr 01, 2009, 23:53:49

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Thanks! That's very handy to know.
Re: Google is my best friend -- Russ Nobbs Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
04/01/2009, 19:45:38



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Even a CA Gourd Society...
Re: Google is my best friend -- Russ Nobbs Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
04/01/2009, 20:49:41

and metal arts guilds, your list is most comprehensive!



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Keeping this on top page
Re: Google is my best friend -- Russ Nobbs Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Russ Nobbs Post Reply
04/10/2009, 19:16:36



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