By Scott Tower Maloney
Dear Baba family,
Important Update on Meher Archive Collective and the purchase of the Red Oak School.
We are pleased to report we have received dozens of loving donations, some substantial, toward the purchase of the Red Oak School. We are still well short of the funds needed to secure this property. Fortunately, the closing has been extended to August 31st, and our deadline for receiving the needed funds is now Aug 14th. This is a very short window of time and we are reaching out to ask for your support. We have also created alternative structures for funding from larger donors (please contact me for more details).
This is an important opportunity and we need your participation to make it happen. If you have already contributed to this effort, thank you for your support; please share your enthusiasm with others. If you have not yet become involved, NOW is the time to do so. Contributions can be made via our website meherarchive.org, or via mail to Meher Archive Collective, PO Box 18908, Asheville, NC 28814. Please contact Jean Ludwig if you would like to discuss the details of your participation firstname.lastname@example.org 828-412-3454.
Answers to Important Questions:
1. Why Asheville and Why the Red Oak School property?
The Asheville area is a logical location for a major archive in the US. It is an environmentally and geologically stable area, free from the threats of forest fires (regionally extremely rare), hurricanes, flooding and coastal erosion, earthquakes & tornados.
Asheville has one of the largest, and fastest growing Baba communities in the US.
We have the people to do the work – this is a Collective effort and requires the efforts of a large group.
The Red Oak school is built to last, non-combustible, ready for immediate use as well as for gradual expansion of Archival work and secure storage. Additional benefits of low cost per square foot and income potential to help support the archive. For those who have not seen it, I am attaching Ty Provosty’s exhaustive analysis of the property and its suitability for MAC’s purpose – the last 3 pages (p46-p48) offer a concise summary.
2. Why another archive?
Because there is a huge volume of material that needs to be preserved and shared with the world. Teams are needed to find, clean, rehouse, scan, catalog, and share this material.
3. Aren’t you creating competition with other existing archives?
No. MAC has great respect and appreciation for all the work being done elsewhere. We do not see MAC in competition with any other archive. We are not taking anyone else’s piece of the pie - there is no shortage of work to be done. We feel compelled to address the urgent need to preserve the large volume of Baba material in the West that is currently at risk of loss or deterioration. MAC is creating a structure to do as much of this work as possible, and as soon as possible. We are also dedicated to sharing the material that can be digitized with the widest possible audience. MAC is not about ownership, but about preservation and sharing.
4. Why should Baba lovers who don’t live locally contribute to an Asheville project?
The impact of this project is not limited to Asheville. It is nationally significant in its intention to be a safe place for North American collections, and globally significant because preserving Meher Baba’s archival legacy is a global effort that only becomes more complete through international cooperation. Digital archiving and database work can be done cooperatively from anywhere with a trained work group. The value of this project is not only immediate, it is for all of our children, grandchildren, their grandchildren and generations to come.
5. Is there a residential component to MAC’s use of the Red Oak School?
No. While there are possibilities for future residential development of nearby property, this is not being considered in the Red Oak School.
6. Isn’t an archive just a storage vault?
Many people are under the assumption that an archive is simply a sturdy building in which to store precious items. MAC is building more than a VAULT – we’re building a WORKING GROUP which can pool resources into preservation, learning opportunities, and information sharing—all of which leads to the Legacy of the Avatar being available to a wider audience.
7. Will MAC ever sell or auction off items to raise money?
No. We will never sell or auction off any unique Baba treasures for any reason. We already have a succession plan in place. We will also honor the wishes of anyone who entrusts items into MAC’s care, including keeping them in the West, and time-sensitive sharing.
8. How will people have easy access to Baba treasures and information?
A growing number of people have said they would like to entrust their collections to MAC. Nearly all of them have expressed a preference for their Baba treasures to be seen and enjoyed rather than locked away. We pledge to create a safe archival space as well as a meditation / museum room. In addition, MAC’s vision includes online access to its material as well as a research library - available in person and remotely - providing public access to Meher Baba’s life and work from anywhere in the world.
We urgently need your help as time is short for us to secure the Red Oak School.
Please support this important project to the greatest extent you are able!
Contributions can be made via our website meherarchive.org
or by mail to Meher Archive Collective, PO Box 18908, Asheville, NC 28814
Meher Archive Collective is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization
Feel free to contact me personally (email@example.com or 828-290-6972) or any of the other board members if you have questions.
In His Love and Service,
Meher Archive Collective
Board of Directors
Jean Brunet Ludwig
Scott Tower Maloney
To collect, preserve, and share Meher Baba’s Divine legacy of materials, artifacts, and words with integrity, love, and transparency
Ty Provosty's feasibility Analysis Review for the Red Oak School.