MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
We hope this finds you all well and happy in His Love. It has been a very busy two months at Meher Archive Collective (MAC) with several exciting developments. MAC has recently expanded its Board and we are delighted to announce three new board members—Ron Kantor, Marie Principe, and Rabia Vaughns, each of whom brings valuable experience and perspective, along with a passion for both Baba and this project.
I am also happy to announce two other additions to the MAC team: Kristen Brynes has joined us as the Archive Manager and will be a great asset as we craft our archiving structure to address both short- and long-term needs, and prepare for larger scale operations in the new building. Heather Masciandaro will soon be joining us as Administrative Coordinator, and brings a wealth of experience to assist the Board and the larger functioning of the MAC organization.
The Board has also undertaken work on strategic planning and governance, with new committees addressing these important areas.
We are looking forward to our upcoming Annual General Meeting in September (more info below) and hope that you can join us to hear in more detail what MAC has done over the past year, and our plans for the future.
In His Embrace,
Scott.Tower@meherarchive.org / 828.290.6972
MAC Annual General Meeting
We warmly invite you to attend our 2021 Annual General Meeting to be held virtually on Sunday, September 26, 4:00-5:30 P.M. EDT during which we will introduce our three newest board members, report on MAC’s current financial status and present our building construction accomplishments of Phase 1. In addition, we will share exciting updates on our archiving activities and our plans for the coming year.
I love the notion that a group of Baba Lovers are collaborating to construct a memorial, archive and a Center for the Asheville community and the world. Posterity demands that we attempt to preserve and make available Baba materials that are scattered across the Baba World. I'm proud to be added to the Board and look forward to bringing my worldly experience and love of Baba to the work before us.
I am delighted to join the MAC Board and support efforts to preserve Baba treasures for generations to come. In addition to promoting the accessibility and preservation of Baba items, I bring a background in supporting good governance, transparency, accountability and financial sustainability within organizations. I have grown up in a Baba family, and I admire those who see themselves as stewards of a shared legacy, of which MAC is an integral part.
It is incredible to witness the hard work, dedication and love of so many that is making MAC and the Meher New Life Center a reality. It is an honor to lend my support to the mission of MAC as we work together to preserve the sacred writings, stories and materials related to Meher Baba. I know how much these things have meant to me and I can only imagine how precious they will be to the generations of Baba lovers who will come. I really can't think of anything more awesome and exciting than this work!
NEW TO THE TEAM
MAC's New Archive Manager
I graduated from the University of North Carolina Greensboro with a Master’s in Library and Information Science, with a speciality in archives and academic libraries. Prior to that, I received my undergraduate degree in History. I am passionate about archiving, and am deeply excited to be involved with MAC. I look forward to working with the archival team and its volunteers to help preserve and share the legacy of Meher Baba.
MAC’s New Administrative Coordinator
I am excited to step into the Administrative Coordinator position and am thrilled to be part of the evolution of MAC. I look forward to working with the Board, and supporting the flow and organization of MAC’s activities. I come from a Baba family and have a background in art and arts administration. I most recently held the position of Administrator for the Egyptian Department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for 11 years.
MEHER ARCHIVE COLLECTIVE building
Recent Building Construction Progress
We are in the position to continue or start work on several additional construction items of Phase 1:
- The old flooring in both bathrooms is being removed and then rebuilt.
- Begin work on the plumbing infrastructure.
- Finish plastering, sanding, and skim coating 2nd floor interior walls; preparing for priming and painting.
- Continue installation of electrical infrastructure.
- Complete the HVAC infrastructure.
- Schedule a partial inspection for the electrical which should allow us to begin installing insulation and hanging sheetrock.
This is an exciting time as we enter the final leg of Phase 1 and begin to see the finishing touches being done to the 2nd floor. A lot of visitors who haven’t been to the site for a while are surprised and delighted to see how much work has been accomplished since their previous visit. This is encouraging for all of us who are laboring to bring this project to completion so we can further fulfill MAC’s mission. Please feel free to contact me for a tour. All this continues to be possible with the support of donations large and small, along with thousands of hours of volunteer labor. If you would like to contribute to MAC’s mission please click on this link https://www.meherarchive.org/donations.html
In His Sweet Embrace,
Ken, VP and Project Manager
New Archive Collection
Darwin was a prolific note taker and the collection includes his hand-written notes which eventually became talks about Baba as well as notes for Darwin's books. Jeanne Shaw received treasured letters from Baba's Beloved Mehera, and His sister, Mani, in which the familial warmth of Baba's love comes shining through. Telegrams, photographs and other audio-visual materials are included, as well as original press clippings dating back decades. What a treasure! We are all so grateful to the Shaw Family for their thoughtfulness and care in preserving and sharing this extraordinary legacy.
SPECIAL PROJECTS COMMITTEE
VLOG: ALL MY LOVE TO YOU AND YOURS — M.S. Irani
In this video, viewers will see two letters written by Quentin Tod to Darwin from Portofino where Baba was staying in the summer of 1933. Baba wanted to reply to Darwin's earlier letter to Him, so He had Quentin acknowledge Baba's happiness in the letter. These unpublished letters share details about Baba's stay in Portofino including the news about Baba preparing to break His silence.
The most remarkable feature of these two letters is that Beloved Baba signed them! Darwin had not even met Baba in person yet, but the charming flavor of Quentin's tone shows us all how Baba's divine love was flowing out in abundance to His early Western disciples. In the VLOG, white-gloved archivist Elaine Cox works on these rare letters and the viewers hear portions of the letters read aloud. Baba sent His love to Darwin, "All my love to you and yours."
Searching for a New Member
We are looking for an energetic, creative-thinking and fun-loving person to help plan social events and activities for the future Meher Archive Collective Building. If being part of this vibrant committee, which has many ideas for future plans, excites you please call Winnie Barrett at 828-450-4433 or email her at email@example.com
Are you interested in other Volunteer Opportunities with MAC? Please click this link to fill out an application. Volunteer Application. Thank you for your interest in helping!
The Meher New Life Library
MAC has recently received a large collection of books and other valuable Baba material from Don and Margaret Eucker. While much of this material will end up in the Archive, we anticipate that many of the books will be made available through the New Life Library. More news will follow as we process this exciting material. In the meantime, remember that you can check out Baba-related books from the existing library by contacting Debby Blackman at (828) 505-0334.
Successful June Fundraiser
Special thanks to our volunteers: Elaine, Renee, Winnie, Paula Pam, Sandy, Teri, Sheila, Heather, Elle, Irma, Tracey, Jane, Lisa, Michael, Phil, Jean, Alisa, Jim T and Jim M, and the two Susans. Applause to Steve for lending us his tents. And more applause to Chris and Ahmed for picking up the unsold items and taking them to the Salvation Army. Sorry for leaving out others, but you know who you are—so thank you! It was lots of work and lots of fun and a money maker for MAC—a triple winner!
Board Contacts: Anne.Barker@meherarchive.org; Evie.Lindemann@meherarchive.org; Hugh.Huntington@meherarchive.org; Jean.Brunet@meherarchive.org; Ken.Blackman@meherarchive.org; Marie.Principe@meherarchive.org; Rabia.Vaughns@meherarchive.org; Renee.Bussanich@meherarhive.org; Ron.Kantor@meherarchive.org; Scott.Tower@meherarchive.org
To collect, preserve, and share Meher Baba’s Divine legacy of materials, artifacts, and words with integrity, love and transparency for the benefit of humanity.
Please consider donating https://www.meherarchive.org/donations.html
News, blogs, and updates on interesting archival finds and events.