500 Capp Street Foundation500 Capp StreetSan Francisco, CA 94100
Dear Carlie, Jock, and Ann,
Please reconsider these decisions of the past week. Please know that it is not too late to fix this situation and continue with this ambitious world you have been supporting for the last few years.
An active board provides invaluable oversight and foresight to a nonprofit organization. The board steers the organization towards a viable future when it adopts sound, effective policies, and ensures the organization can obtain adequate resources to pursue its mission. A for-profit corporation focuses on collecting capital for shareholders, whereas a nonprofit organization focuses on pursuing its mission for the public’s benefit.
The entire community treasures the work that has been taking place at 500 Capp Street. There have been different reasons offered to the press for your decision—most of them are vague, and frankly, confusing. The only concern that rings true is financial:
“We’ve been very happy with the quality of these exhibitions,” Reynolds says, “but the amount of money that was not coming in, in terms of anticipated revenue—there was a limit to what Carlie Wilmans was willing to do.”
If this in fact is the reason for laying off the head curator and ending the exhibitions programming, please fundraise! No one expects Wilmans to fund the project alone. Everyone understands the stresses of finances, especially those of us in the arts. The undersigned have never been approached to fundraise, either by way of donating artwork to auction, or by being asked to donate money. We believe that the Foundation can support itself if given the opportunity.
From all we’ve come to understand about David Ireland from our many visits to his home, tours, public programs, concerts, drag shows, lectures, artist talks, and dinners, we fear that David would be rolling in his grave knowing about the recent changes being made to his legacy. It is shockingly disrespectful to let the head curator go two days after opening new exhibitions. How disrespectful to artists Liz Magor and Nina Canell.
Please consider doing something that would truly enliven the community, truly restore faith in people’s imaginations about what is possible: please listen to the community! Please look at and read words from all the people who are upset and crying out for you to allow this Institution to thrive. The best way forward is to reinstate the curatorial team—rehire Bob Linder as the Head Curator and secure Diego Villalobos’ role as Curator. Reinstate the exhibition program, and hire a Director tasked with fundraising!
Signed in solidarity,