Mateel Board Apologizes and Lays Out What They Are Doing to Meet the Financial Crisis in Letter to the Editor
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Dear Community, Mateel Members and Friends,
The Mateel Board of Directors must accept responsibility for the financial losses of our Community Center, and apologize for the lack of oversight and fiscal control that led us here. As a nine-member board comprised of elected and appointed individuals, we are committed and unified on retaining the Mateel Community Center, a space where our core community values can be shared and all are welcome.
Our staff has been reduced to essential hours. The Center is committed to producing the events and programs that we have booked for the rest of the calendar year, which we are contractually obligated to do and which will generate temporary operating funds while following through with our arranged usage. We have scheduled a few events for early 2018, but at this time we have very little operating money to do much else.
The board and office staff are reorganizing, strategizing, and looking at all options with one main focus: to retain our Community Center. As previously announced, we see no other option but to sell or lease Reggae on the River since we no longer have the ability to produce it. Our Reggae team is in negotiations with a promising partner for Reggae on the River. There are no further updates at this time, but we hope to have news we can share with the public very soon. We recognize that Reggae on the River is woven deeply together with our community center and it saddens us to be forced into this situation.
Due to our dire financial crisis we voted in September to suspend the program known as the Mateel Meal. This angered and saddened some people, but our decision to suspend the Mateel Meal did not come lightly and was born out of necessity. The Thanksgiving meal, for which we partnered with the Vet’s Hall, was a success and served approximately 350+ meals. There will also be a Christmas meal on Christmas Day from 12-4pm. We hope you can join us and especially encourage families with children to attend, as Santa will be visiting! Santa will also be visiting the Mateel for the Winter Arts Faire on December 16th and 17th. The event runs from 10am-6pm, and Santa will be there from 1-3pm. The event also offers one of the best artisanal shopping opportunities for the holidays! Please come and support artists and your local community center.
At the November membership meeting, the Board unanimously approved a motion to make the Mateel a venue for the Emergency Weather Shelter. We are proud to support this endeavor.
The Summer Arts & Music Festival is an annual and beloved community tradition – an embodiment of the artistic and creative spirit that helps to make up the regional social fabric. In that spirit, we are dedicated to bringing the community the festival this coming year, but we must ask for your support. Large events can be a risk, but we feel hopeful, as Humboldt County’s favorite music festival, that it will prove to be our mainstay fundraiser and help us address some of our debt. Can we count on you to support your local community center by attending?
For now, as we examine the best way to move forward on many fronts, we are seeking your help with operating funds. We have launched a Mateel Rainmaker Campaign through the Generosity crowdfunding platform. Funds raised through this campaign will be used only for operations:
Mateel staff payroll, utilities, etc. Please visit our Facebook page, our website, search for the Mateel Rainmaker Fund on the Generosity website, or type in this address in your browser:
http://smarturl.it/MateelRainmaker We are happy to announce that monthly sustaining memberships will soon be available – stay tuned for more details on that.
We as an organization must evaluate our core values, mission statement and strategic plan. We would like to invite others to weigh in by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org and we would also like to invite you to renew your membership or to join our membership— we are stronger together.
Please consider becoming a Lifetime Member of the Mateel. Visit our website at www.mateel.org for more information. By understanding where we came from, what we stand for, and where we hope to go, we can create more meaningful solutions.
Thank you for your understanding, and your continued support through these challenging and shifting times,
The Mateel Board of Directors