Posts Tagged ‘sustainability drive’

Sept. 29 Sustainability Drive Update

It has been one week since we launched our Sustainability Drive to help us reopen the City Reliquary Museum to the public, and avoid closing our doors permanently in November. So far, we have raised $820, of which $480 are sustaining monthly contributions from new members. It’s a strong and very hopeful start! Thank you, so much, to all who have already joined.

But we’ll need precisely 252 more sustaining members by November 22 in order to keep the Storefront. If we make it there, we can pay our rent and keep the City Reliquary as we know it.

My name is Jacob, and I discovered the Reliquary through my involvement with other small museums in NYC. When I would docent at various tiny interesting spaces and cozily cramped galleries, visitors kept bringing up the City Reliquary and asking if I’d been there. I hadn’t, but I biked over and immediately fell in love. I became a member in 2017, and by 2019 wound up on the board.

In a strange, beautiful way we’ve become exactly what we aim to preserve: a physical place full of reliable magic, matter-of-fact quirk, and serious strangeness. A microscopic institution, large enough to do powerful things but small enough to keep the personality of the people who make it all happen. It’s very a New York phenomenon, I think: a place of absolute wonder, presented with a straight face. It’d be a shame to lose this unsung landmark.

Several of our fellow New York City museums and galleries are beginning to re-open, and we deeply want to join them. But before we can even begin to lay out a reopening plan, we must prove our financial sustainability.

We are proud to say our labor is provided entirely by caring volunteers, and our collections are all loaned, gifted or found. This loyalty and dedication has allowed us to reduce our expenses to a bare minimum. We’ve been able to survive these past few months only through the success of our recent fundraiser and many generous one-time gifts, but without the dependable sources of revenue that we once relied on, we are struggling to hold onto our tiny hand-painted Williamsburg storefront of a home.

Our rent is below-market but not free, and it comes every month. Rent is by far our largest and virtually our only expense. Unfortunately, it’s making the question of reopening our galleries into one of reopening at all.

We’ve been near this point before, and each time generous friends and family and strangers have come forth to keep the Reliquary going. Now, though, we’re hoping to escape that pattern by boldly re-launching the Reliquary Membership program. We’re asking you, our friends and supporters, to directly help us keep the Reliquary alive. 

We’re keeping membership simple.

One tier: $10/month

One goal: 300 members

One deadline: November 22

Becoming a member makes you an official card-carrying Reliquarian: someone who keeps a museum alive. A benefactor in the utmost sense. I’d inscribe your name on a plaque if they weren’t so expensive, but instead we’ll celebrate over beers and vinyl records as soon as it feels comfortable to do so.

Until then, we’re exclusively allowing members to visit on October weekends, as you are the ones who will make it possible to one day reopen to the wider public. Become a member today and you can book your private viewing appointment, on the house, as soon this Saturday.

And of course, if and when we do fully reopen, you’ll receive free admission for you and your household, as long as your membership is active, as often as you care to visit. After all, you will have made it possible.

cityreliquary.org/join

No matter what’s next,

Jacob Ford

Designer About Town

Board Member, 

The City Reliquary Museum & Civic Organization

Become a Sustaining Member of the City Reliquary – Deadline Nov. 22!

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

We have sobering news and a plea for help: after fourteen years on Metropolitan Avenue, the City Reliquary storefront museum is in danger of closing. Numerous factors have brought us to this point, not least of all the economic impact of the COVID pandemic, and the changing cultural and economic tenor of the city. We are dependent on admissions and public events for revenue, and, after 6 months of closure, this model is no longer sustainable.

In order to reopen our storefront to the public, we will need to transition to a new, sustainable funding model based on monthly membership donations. Our minimum threshold to stay open is just $3,000 of sustainable funding per month. If we can meet this modest monthly goal by 11/22/20, we will be able to secure the storefront and reopen our doors to the public – with utmost care for public health and safety. If we are unable to raise these funds, the doors to the storefront museum will remain closed and this chapter of City Reliquary history will come to an end.

As we face these difficult decisions, we are also exploring alternative ways forward. We are building partnerships with NYU’s Special Collections Library and Columbia University’s Center for Archeology and the Museum Anthropology Graduate Program to ensure that our community and collection will continue to have a life. If we have to close our doors, we will turn to these partnerships to continue the Reliquary mission. However, neither institution can offer space for collections display or management, so we would be forced to put our beloved artifacts in storage, where they would be inaccessible to the public.

With these different paths in mind, we ask for your support in this critical moment. We are continuously working to shine a light on the underappreciated areas of our city’s history through our exhibitions, programs, and special events so that we can help young people and others to be informed, civically engaged citizens. We can only be successful in our mission with your help. 

With the support of generous benefactors and the success of our Museum Relief Fund, we are able to cover overhead costs on the storefront through November. To remain open beyond November 30, we must raise $3,000 of sustainable monthly funding by 11/22/20. We are profoundly grateful for the support you have shown us, and ask if you would consider making a recurrent monthly donation to help us meet this goal.  

You can find more information about our monthly membership program, along with newly added benefits, on our new sustainable membership site at this link. We are also pleased to announce that in October we will open the Williamsburg storefront to members only, with new health precautions in place, and we invite you to visit us if you are able to do so safely.

We remain a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, therefore all donations are 100% tax-deductible. Your sustainable support is crucial for the survival of the Reliquary.

We are still reachable through our social media accounts and at info@cityreliquary.org. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have.

We hope that you and your loved ones are well, and we send our deepest thanks for your support. 

Always civic,

Dave Herman

Founder, The City Reliquary