Dear Friend of the Harlow,
As I’m sure you’re aware, these are challenging times for everyone and every organization. We sincerely hope this letter finds you and your beloveds safe and healthy during this difficult time.
The Harlow has been physically closed for two months, and though the staff has been working to move our goods online, sales have been minimal and workshops and events have been canceled. However, we have good news. The Harlow staff and board have received a gracious amount of emergency funding. This includes the Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan through Camden Bank, which will be forgiven, as we are committed to maintaining our full staff. We have also applied for and received a special $2500 grant from the Maine Arts Commission and the City of Hallowell has selected the Harlow to receive a $3000 Hallowell Business Survival Grant. We are truly appreciative of both the Maine Arts Commission and the City of Hallowell for their support. These programs will provide a lifeline to carry us into summer.
Meanwhile, Gretchen and Allison have been very busy coordinating an online art auction to raise funds, creating a new website for the craft shop, redesigning the Harlow website, restructuring our database, and setting up Art2020, the juried show for online viewing. The
Board has been meeting regularly via Zoom, working on a plan for the future. As the Board reviews our financial situation, we are facing some hard truths. As the PPP loan funding runs out in mid-July, we will only have enough cash on hand for another 2 months of operation. The Harlow does have a reserve from the sale of our building, invested with the Maine Community Foundation, but we are very hesitant to dip into that without a clear plan forward. We have reduced all operating expenses to a bare-bones level but without art sales or the prospect of any fundraising events, we cannot continue to operate as we have in the past. The Board is currently working on a new approach and structure that will hopefully afford us the opportunity to continue to serve Hallowell and the greater art community for another sixty years.
We believe The Harlow is important to Hallowell and to the region. We are overjoyed that the City of Hallowell has demonstrated their commitment to our organization. But, we require your input. What would you like The Harlow to look like and be? How can The Harlow offer what you need as an artist and as an art lover? How can the Harlow better serve the community of Hallowell and the greater Kennebec Valley region? How would you like to be involved – perhaps be on the board or one of our committees?
You can email your thoughts and suggestions (email@example.com) or call us with input (207-622-3813). Better yet, you can join us at our annual meeting on June 3rd at 6 PM that will be held via Zoom. Zoom details will be sent out a week prior to the meeting and will be posted to our website and social media accounts. Please give this some thought and be a part of us re-creating The Harlow into a sustainable center for the arts in Kennebec Valley.
Happy Spring! We genuinely hope to see you at our annual meeting on June 3rd!
Helene Farrar, Board President
Barbara Coriell, Board Treasurer
Jane Higgins, Board Secretary
Lisa Rigolout, Board Member
Gretchen Marion, Executive Director
Allison McKeen, Programs + Marketing Manager