15 December 2006

Update on the Warehouse

What an experience this has been, trying to stay in the downtown warehouses in Tucson. I never thought I'd be on first name terms with City Council members and department heads as well as other city bureaucrats, but here it is.

Not much has changed. We're still supposed to evacuate — isn't that a lovely term, by March 31. Yet one City Council member is proposing using 20 million dollars to upgrade buildings in the district (but one council member making a proposal is far from the city actually taking action). There are other signs of help, and so much good will has poured out from people who have read this blog. It's heartening. We're not giving up, but we will soon have to begin looking for other space, even while we continue to try and convince people in power that such a move should not be necessary, for us or for the twenty or so other artists, artisans, and arts organizations about to be displaced.

Many have asked how they might help. Write me, on paper, about the importance of arts districts, about what artists add to communities, about historic buildings and how it's important not just to love their history, but to keep using them in creative ways. And write about the value of Chax Press to you. I can copy letters and give them to people who make decisions. It might help, it might not. But it definitely can't hurt. Send those letters to Chax Press at 101 W. Sixth St., Tucson, AZ 85701-1000.

Chax Press is also in the midst of what we hope is our biggest fund drive ever. With six books out this month (two already out, four coming by the end of December), two more to come in January, and more after that, our work is more than it has ever been, and it's getting to more people than it has ever reached. It's really the culmination of a great year that began when, for writing and for my work with Chax Press, I won the Arizona Arts Award. Since then there have just seemed to be more possibilities. Next year, even more. But they all require funding. We've mailed out requests for donations to our supporters who have helped us in the past, but we need new supporters. So, as you are writing to support our presence in our warehouse, throw something in: $5 to $50, or more, or whatever you can. Or if you prefer supporting a press the old-fashioned way, i.e. buying books (to tell the truth, both kinds of income are needed, i.e. sales and donations), go to our web site, and buy one or two or three or even more books!

Thank you.