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An appropriation-friendly, image-rich, experimental research library. Independent and open to the public.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Provisions Library retrenches

In May 2005 I had the privilege of presenting Panorama Ephemera at the Provisions Library in D.C. Provisions is a walk-in publicly accessible independent library focusing on social change and culture, with a meeting room (suitable for projection and lectures), a game room (which, when I was there, was full of people playing analog games), about 150 subscriptions to current magazines, and several thousand thoughtfully selected, mostly newer books. Located in the Dupont Circle area, Provisions serves a diverse group of people from a number of different communities. After my visit, Washington suddenly seemed like a much more interesting city.

Email this morning brings word that Provisions is shifting away from maintaining an open library. I hope they find the support they need to keep this valuable space open. Here's the message:

- - - - -

IMPORTANT UPDATE
New Plans for Provisions Learning Project

Dear Friends:

Provisions' mission to bridge social change and the arts started in October, 2002 with a 5-year grant from Gaea Foundation. With Gaea's visionary support Provisions was able to build significant resources for creative social change, including its library, educational programs, exhibitions and major online presence. Moreover, it permitted an intentional course of development including the formation of an excellent board of directors to help advance Provisions' unique mission and obtain vital financial support.

Provisions' board and staff recently completed a long-range plan that lays out new goals for the next several years. The plan calls for Provisions to extend its reach both nationally and internationally through intensified online programs and the development of a traveling exhibitions program. We will be re-directing resources away from maintaining a large public space in favor of entering into strong partnerships with universities, museums and social advocacy organizations. Future public events and programs- such as lectures and exhibitions- will be presented through partnerships and/or online. The physical library will remain accessible by appointment in a reduced space and/or new location.

Using the new plan, Provisions has successfully begun to diversify its funding base with new support from the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Tides Foundation. These are strong first steps in securing essential funding partners, but others are needed. If you or someone you know is in a position to help Provisions to effectively bridge the arts and social change, please contact us at: pl(at)provisionslibrary.org or call 202-299-0460.

Provisions is now legally and financially independent from Gaea Foundation. Gaea's founder, Gaylord Neely, will remain on the board and participate as a strong advocate, and a new board President will be announced in September.

All the Best,

Donald Russell
Executive Director

P.S. To focus staff time on implementing the plan, Provisions will be open by appointment only starting June 29th.

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