This is an update on where we stand in light of the actions that have happened in the past several months regarding our management agreement for Little Artshram’s home-base in Traverse City (and the media coverage) and also a specific request, in light of much sensationalizing.
This is also a straightforward request, if you would be so kind, to push ahead with us and consider nominating Little Artshram as an environmental educational organization in the annual, upcoming Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council awards. More information on NMEAC and the awards here: http://NMEAC.org/EOY/NominatingForm.html.
First, thank you VERY MUCH for supporting Little Artshram in the many ways you have in the past several months in particular. As our mediation WAS successful in as much that we have been reinstated on the barns property as the continued manager and sponsor of the community garden. However, for the time being, we have compromised our plan to build a “community learning center” in the old garage building (#221), limiting our place and space on the property to the area directly surrounding and including the community garden plots. This space includes a composting area to the east of the garden gates and an edible forest garden space to the west.
The most difficult, and greatest challenge for us, continues to be the repercussions of the sensationalized news reporting and false accusations about our organizational and teaching practices. The new agreement, in order to stay on the property, included a clause that limits our ability to hold our beloved Summer Camps for children and youth at the community gardens. The reasoning on our land holders part (The Recreational Authority/City and Twp.) as I understand it, is connected to all of the regulatory agencies being “called in” and the greenback cost of additional insurances. So their bargain, that the Little Artshram board agreed to, was to limit Little Artshram’s programs to students who are 18 years old and older.
This is a very, very big compromise and we are determined to regain our power to add, change and evolve a new system structure to continue our K through High School programming and projects. Since 2003, the community gardens and the Munson Woods have been the main outdoor classroom for our environmental education based programs and projects of Little Artshram.
The BIGGEST issue and factor in our mediated discussions about our barns property home-base, revolved around “perception”. Not the use of the compost toilet, or the false accusations of management and operation (like the need to have specific licensing), or the grumbly gardeners, but perception. How we are seen. Or, not seen. And more to the point, the issue of fundraising and attracting donors to the capital fundraising campaign for the rennovation of the barns. We are asking once more for your support as we wish to be “seen” for what we are, an organization that embodies a system that can evolve, re-capture and survive these changes. I believe we are an organization that is and has been a catalyst in this community for 12 years, inspiring and kick-starting other small and not-so-small organizations to also carry a creative, environmental, nature awareness, permaculture message into the Grand Traverse region and other parts of our Great Lake State. I also believe that with many hands and hearts, we embody a very strong form of system resilience that will benefit the community as a whole, and the Recreational Authority and the barns property as well, for many years.
Finally, and on behalf of the present board of directors of Little Artshram, and the many, many past members over the previous 19 years of our humble, Little Artshram and Greater Lansing ARTSPACE existence….we thank you for considering this next “perceptive” step as a way to repair, provide an incentive and refill our coffers as we keep on, keeping on.
Please consider nominating Little Artshram in the “general” category for the NMEAC awards: http://NMEAC.org/EOY/NominatingForm.html
Sincerely, `penny Krebiehl
Founder, Directress, and, Believer in Composting EVERYTHING