July 18, 2008

Pottery Center Appeal

The NC Pottery Center is a wonderful institution promoting the history of pottery making in the state and its livelihood for future generations. Funding has recently been cut from the state budget. I wanted to share with you this letter from the Pottery Center as well as my own hope that you can join as a member to help keep the center open through these troubled times.

Dear Friends,

We are writing to you because we have an urgent need for funds to keep the doors open at the North Carolina Pottery Center. Without immediate financial assistance, the Center will have to close in just a few months.

Over its ten-year life, the Center has enriched the lives of tens of thousands of North Carolinians, as well as people from every state and many countries around the world. It has continually provided us with wide ranging, well designed programming including:

a permanent exhibit on the history of North Carolina pottery,

more than fifty changing exhibitions featuring individuals, regions, ethnic groups, schools, pottery associations,

classes in pottery making and workshops by master potters,

firings by potters using our two wood kilns,

educational events for children, scouts, and teachers; lectures by potters and scholars,

an extensive oral history program, and

most recently, 250 people attended the opening of our current exhibition, “Contemporary Pottery from North Carolina’s Indian Communities.” Some of the featured potters had never seen their work in a museum before.

In a state that values pottery as we do, it makes no sense to close an institution that embodies what is certainly our most important and famous indigenous art form.

As you know, in December of 2007, the Board of the Pottery Center entered into an agreement with the Department of Cultural Resources to transfer the Center’s assets to the State and operate the Center through the North Carolina Arts Council. Funding for this move was inserted into the expansion budget at $300,000 but was cut from the Governor’s budget. As no legislator stepped forward to introduce a bill to support the Center, the current budget will not provide any funding.

The Department of Cultural Resources does want to take over the Center and will ask for funding in next year’s budget. In the meantime, we have to keep the Center open, admittedly on a somewhat reduced schedule. We can do this if we can raise $100,000. The Arts Council has indicated that it will offer a substantial amount of support as well. This is to some degree a gamble that the State will come through, but we think it is a gamble that is well worth taking.

Seven donors have already pledged a total of $10,000, so we are off to a good start toward our goal. All contributions are most welcome and are tax deductible. You can easily make your donation online by following the link at the bottom of the Center’s home page www.ncpotterycenter.com. Checks should be made to the North Carolina Pottery Center and mailed to NCPC, P.O. Box 531, Seagrove, NC 27341. Donations of stock can be made to the Center through your local broker.

This letter is just one part of a vigorous, multi-faceted, fundraising campaign. A very generous supporter of the Center has just given 250 pieces of pottery to be put up for auction, and a number of potters are organizing raffles of their work. We will announce other initiatives in the coming months.

Some years ago, Pennsylvania potter Jack Troy wrote, “If North America has a ‘pottery state,’ it must be North Carolina. . . . There is probably no other state with such a highly developed pottery-consciousness.” Let’s keep that special pottery-consciousness alive. Please join us in saving the Center.


Tim Blackburn
Cynthia Bringle
Mark Hewitt
Terry Zug
Vernon and Pamela Owens
Dan Finch

If you would like to donate any amount click here.

If you would like to join, click here.

I thank you.