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

Posted in Take Action, Threatened Environments

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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.

 

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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

 

 

Browse Blog Archives by Month
Highlights

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

Conservator-in-Residence Position, Hartman Rock Garden - Ohio
Preservation News

SPACES Honors Watts Towers Committee Founding Member Jeanne Smith Morgan on her 90th Birthday!
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Remembering Josep Pujiula i Vila (1937-2016)
Self-Taught Arts in the News

Dispatch from the Field: Jo Farb Hernández in Spain
SPACES News

Materializing the Bible. by James S. Bielo (Miami University)
Gardens, Religious, Devotional & Spiritual

Call to Action: Preserve Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village in California
Threatened Environments

Mr. Imagination exhibit at Intuit named one of 10 best in the United States
Self-Taught Arts in the News

SPACES Director to Present Singular Spaces at Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum
SPACES News

Margaret’s Grocery listed as one of Mississippi’s Historic Trust’s 10 Most Endangered Properties!
Preservation News, Threatened Environments

The SPACES website allows you to save your favorite art environments and share them with your friends or colleagues. Create your own portfolio of your favorites from environments in the online collection.

Send them to your friends, post them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag #spacesarchives 

Look for this button on pages that can be saved:

Add Page to my spaces