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Today's frustration. - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Jul. 10th, 2003

12:27 pm - Today's frustration.

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Dear Channing-Murray Board Members and others,
(please share this email with the other C-M board members)

This is not an official statement from the IMC. This is a statement from me as an individual who has been the IMC's liason to the Channing-Murray since late May.

I am writing to express my great disappointment over the forced immediate resignation of Casey Denton at the Channing-Murray Foundation. Casey was hard working and dedicated to her job, she repeatedly went above and beyond the call of duty in her role as space coordinator. I don't know what kind of misunderstanding precipitated this situation but it is very sad.

I first started working with Casey in late May. The IMC's performance space had just been shut down and we came to the Channing-Murray to reschedule some of our shows. Other venues in town were hard to comunicate with and which offered inflexible terms that made it impossible for us to do shows there. Casey, however, was extremely prompt in communicating with us, extremely flexible in negotiating with us, and just all around extremely nice to work with.

Because Casey treated us so well, we decided to move all of our folk and goth dance shows (9 dates if I recall correctly) to the Channing-Murray. Later we would decide to extend our goth dance shows, schedule some rock shows, and schedule some additional folk and jazz shows. This evening the IMC will be discussing the scheduling of half a dozen or more additional shows and I was hoping we'd be able to schedule them at the Channing-Murray. It is completely unclear to me now what scheduling shows at the Channing-Murray will entail now that Casey is gone.

With Casey's help, the IMC has been able to bring hundreds of new faces into the Channing-Murray, keep it booked on over a dozen summer dates when no one else would likely rent, and rekindle the musical tradition of that space's use.

On June 2nd, the third show the IMC had at the Channing-Murray, the sewage system backed up and the toilets became unusable with over 80 patrons in the space. This was the biggest concert that we would host all season. Casey worked very hard to notify us of this problem before the show, to notify the C-M board and maintenance staff. The problem was still not resolved at show time and disgusting sewage was spilled all over the basement. This was completely unacceptable (holding public assembly in a space with non-functional bathrooms is not only disgusting, it is illegal) and we had to consider pulling out of our contract and canceling future dates unless the problem was resolved before the next show.

Casey advocated for us and a rotorooter was hired, despite initial hessitancy from the board. If it were not for Casey we would have felt helpless. We do not know the Channing-Murray process. We do not know who to talk to to get things done. We are just renters of the space. Any space needs a liason who will advocate for the needs of the renters and Casey did a superb job of that. She stayed in touch, she gave us constant updates, and she got the job done. Because of that we decided not to pull out of our contract and to continue our scheduled dates at the Channing-Murray.

On June 14th, major storms caused flooding in the basement. This time it was not a sewage problem, just a storm water problem. Casey came in to the space hours before show time and personally mopped up the flood water so that the space was usable to us. That was above and beyond her duties and she saved the show. That show went extremely well. Had our staff had to deal with the flood water we never would have gotten the show set up on time and we would have had an angry crowd and angry musicians.

What is to happen now? With Casey's departure, who will make sure the flood water that I'm sure is currently present gets taken care of before our show on Friday night? Who will we meet with to sign the new contracts for new dates of already scheduled shows? Do we have assurance that the space will remain available for shows that we've scheduled but haven't yet had time to sign contracts for? Who do we write checks to? Who do we negotiate with? Who do we contact if there is a problem with the space? Who will be our advocate if we need something to get done? Will renting from the Channing-Murray still be a pleasant and easy experience or will it be tiring and difficult?

I hope that we can still work together. We love the Channing-Murray space. We love the flexibility that you've extended to us. We want to schedule many many dates in the future with you. As a volunteer organization we need to know that this won't be difficult to continue. With Casey we knew that. What will happen now?

--
Zachary C. Miller
IMC Space Coordinator
IMC Folk Music Coordinator

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:boannan
Date:July 10th, 2003 07:32 pm (UTC)
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that totally sucks! :( man, I hate intra-organization politiking (if that's what this is). I hope you guys can find somewhere else to go if CM doesn't come through!
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[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:July 10th, 2003 07:40 pm (UTC)
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It's amazing how dysfunctional the boards of all the local progressive "churches" are.

The University Y has "evicted" Girlzone as a program. The IDF had all it's well known weird control freak politics. Now the Channing-Murray is getting it's own silliness going on.

It seems like we're going to be able to continue to use their space, hopefully. It all depends on whether or not the board members can fill Casey's shows effectively. We'll over this next week how smoothly things go.

If we can't use the C-M we're pretty much SOL for all ages non-smoking shows. We can always have shows at local bars pretty easily but that's just got a whole different spirit to it. We in fact _will_ be doing some shows at bars it seems like.

We'll see. Right now I just want this weekend's shows to go well. These are my last shows for more than a month which will be a nice break.

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[User Picture]
From:marezcharz
Date:July 11th, 2003 12:14 am (UTC)
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Wow! What a well-written, heart-felt letter. Your organization is lucky to have you in their corner. I hope things go well.
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If I ever need a stay of execution, would you write for me???
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