With gratitude and respect for her work and efforts the Board of Directors announces the resignation of Sara Emerson as Executive Director of Spudnik Press Cooperative effective October 31, 2022. In this transition the Board, as it looks forward, has realized that the systems Spudnik was built upon are unsustainable in their current model. The amount of work asked of our Director and our staff is not equitable and perpetuates foundational inequalities that we are not willing to stand by. Sara inherited an organization in crisis and was not properly informed about the expectations and obstacles to her and the organization’s success. These are fundamental things that need to be addressed for the future stability of Spudnik. In addition, two members of the Board, Hellen Coleman and Holly Ekwejunor-Etchie have also resigned their positions.
At the time of Sara’s hire, the Board did not have the capacity or institutional knowledge to provide adequate support to properly address the challenges we face as an organization. The board had had only three members, two of which had nonmianal experience and were engaged in a difficult transition. Sara relocated for this position, unaware of the extent of the collective trauma our community had experienced. She was unprepared and under supported in taking on the significant challenge of restabilizing our organization financially, administratively, and in spirit.
The need for change and restructuring is imperative. We must acknowledge the significant challenges ahead, as well as the time, commitment, and collaboration that making these changes will require. For Sara, we know the lack of resources and support has been especially frustrating, as much of her own work as an artist and professional has been centered in expanding equity, access, and inclusivity within printmaking. Sara has shared that her departure is profoundly upsetting on a personal level; getting to know the Spudnik community has been a great privilege, and she is deeply grateful to our members for their kindness, patience, and insight in these past months.
We have reached a moment of critical reflection. We need to work with our staff, members, community, and friends to redefine ourselves and the way we work together and move forward. Reviewing our financial situation and our organizational structure, it has become clear that it is impossible for the Press to exist as it has. This is an exciting and difficult time of transition. By choosing to completely reassess ourselves we are opening our organization to being remade as a more caring, transparent, communal, and equitable space to create and support printmaking.
We recognize that it is our fundamental structure and operation based in hierarchical organizational principles that have put us in this situation. To mitigate and counteract the inequalities within our current system we will not move with the Board at the forefront alone, but rather invite our community to come together and work with us side by side. Together we can imagine and create a better future that affirms our values to build a press where everyone feels welcome, supported, and inspired by one another. This will not be easy and will require help from everyone who cares and believes in Spudnik, but we are hopeful that we will meet this challenge with the full force and innovation of our community.
We will hold a community meeting on Wednesday, November 2nd at 6:30pm to begin discussing the current challenges and some options we have been considering for the future of Spudnik. A large portion of the meeting will be dedicated to answering questions and collectively imagining how we move forward together. This meeting is open to all who are or have felt like a part of the Spudnik community, not just those who are current members of the Press. Moreover, the Board will need help moving forward, so if there are those who considered joining the Board in the past, we urge you to consider that again. To attend our community meeting, we are requesting RSVPs:
RSVP TO OUR COMMUNITY MEETING BY CLICKING HERE
This is not intended to limit participation in any way, rather to help us prepare the studio beforehand. While our meeting will be held at Spudnik, we will do our best to provide a virtual component for those who can not attend in person.
If you have initial concerns or questions you would like answered during the meeting or beforehand, please direct them toward email@example.com. Please refrain from sending messages via Instagram or other modes, these channels go to staff members and we do not want this situation to put more work on their desks. The Board of Directors will respond as quickly as possible to all inquiries.
Amira Hegazy, Dutes Miller, and Chris Perzan
The Board of Directors