Meher Archive Collective (MAC) Newsletter — October 2020
Meher Archive Collective is committed to honoring Meher Baba through a culture of Integrity, Transparency and Trust; we take this Responsibility seriously, as we continue to build Expertise, and pledge to be of Service to all those invested in protecting Baba’s legacy.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
Meher Archive Collective had a successful and well attended Annual General Meeting on September 17th, with people joining from various parts of the country as well as internationally. In addition to sharing MAC’s broader vision and financial picture, several of the committees gave brief reports. Debbie Nordeen and Scott O’Neil joined us as guest speakers who gave inspiring presentations. Overall, it was a great opportunity to share where we are and where we are headed, as well as giving people the chance to hear directly from board members and others involved. If you did not attend the meeting, the recording is available on our website’s video page. Many of those who attended have expressed both new and renewed interest in participating as volunteers or contributors. Please contact me personally, or any of the other board members if you would like to explore how you can join us in this effort.
With hopes that this finds you well in His Embrace,
Scott Tower, Board Chair and MAC President
firstname.lastname@example.org / 828.290.6972
$50,000 MATCHING CHALLENGE
We are so pleased to be sharing this exciting fundraising opportunity with you.
Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, financial contributions made between Oct. 01 - Nov. 30, 2020 will be matched up to $50,000.
Please join our Board of Directors in our commitment to 100% participation for this match.
A donation at this time means your funds will double in value; $10,000 raised becomes $20,000. With your help raising $50,000, MAC will receive a total of $100,000 towards the goal of getting MAC settled into our new home in the Meher New Life Center by January.
We hope you can join us by donating here: Matching_Challenge
Checks can be mailed to: Meher Archive Collective, PO Box 18908 Asheville, NC 28814-0908
Board Member, Liaison to Fund Development Committee
Greg Dunn — Chair of the Technology Committee
The purpose of the Technology Committee is to oversee all network and communications systems, maintain the website and provide technical support to staff and volunteers as needed.
Greg Dunn is a retired software developer, trainer, and writer. He has an M.S. in Operations Research from the University of Texas at Austin and is co-holder of a U.S. patent for a software program that forecasts developing micro-markets in the telecommunications industry by local geography. Greg heard about Meher Baba “from the inside” in 1971 while reading William Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming” aloud in Berkeley’s beautiful and semi-wild Tilden Park. A year later he put the face and the name to the inner presence, and he has been gratefully in Baba’s fold ever since. In his retirement he has authored or co-authored several plays and two musicals about Meher Baba, and has composed more than 150 separate additional musical pieces. He is married to cellist and graphic artist Gay Dunn, with whom he joyfully collaborates on music, websites, home improvement projects, and streamed entertainment binging. He is delighted to be able to contribute technical skills he developed over a long career in information technology to the wonderful work of preserving the Avatar’s legacy.
Greg can be reached at Greg.Dunn@MeherArchive.org
Katherine Dadachanji — Administrative Coordinator
Reporting to the Board Chair, Katherine will assist the Board of Directors with administrative tasks, support the Committee Chairs on a variety of projects as desired, and oversee the day-to-day operations of the office.
Katherine arrived in Asheville in the spring of 2018; coming home to the Carolinas after 22 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, she loves being part of the Baba community here. She learned about Meher Baba in the fall of 1989 and thought of herself as a “Baba appreciator” for many months. It wasn’t until she read Margaret Craske’s book, The Dance of Love and was introduced to Baba’s sense of humor that she let down her guard, let Baba in, and became a “Baba lover.” Katherine has an M.S. in Mathematics and has studied financial and management accounting. As the owner of Katherine Grace Organizing, LLC, she consults with small businesses on increasing productivity and gaining a clearer understanding of the financial picture of their businesses. She has two sons, 21 and 24, who live in the San Francisco area. She enjoys traveling, hiking, camping and whitewater rafting.Katherine can be reached at: Katherine.Dadachanji@MeherArchive.org
Welcome Greg and Katherine to the MAC Team!
Evie Lindemann — Board Member, Liaison for the Fund Development Committee.
“Gathering Women’s Stories Connected with the Women Mandali.”
One of the many things I learned in my pilgrimages to India, and in many intense conversations with the mandali, especially Arnavaz, was to listen to Meher Baba’s voice in my heart. Listening to that voice now I know with certainty that what happens in future generations of Baba lovers matters.
If you are a woman who has been impacted by meeting the women mandali from the East or the West please consider participating in our project: “Gathering Women’s Stories Connected with Women Mandali.”
We are developing an archive of these stories to preserve and share items related to Baba’s advent for future generations who will not have met the women mandali. Please connect with us if you have a story to share: Evie.Lindemann@meherarchive.org and/or Anne.Barker@meherarchive.org
S A V E T H E D A T E
Saturday, December 5th, 2020 — 11 A.M. EST
Hosted by Evie Lindemann & Anne Barker
Board of Directors
Watch for details out October 19th via email and website.
If you are a woman who has been impacted by meeting the women mandali consider sharing your story with us: Evie.Lindemann@meherarchive.org and/or Anne.Barker@meherarchive.org
Baba with Kitty and Delia, from the Jean Adriel photo collection.
Meher New Life Center - Building Report
The Meher New Life Center has been an enormous undertaking and was divided into 3 phases, each of which comprised its own stages of development. From the beginning it was clear that refurbishing a 1928 massive 25,000 square foot building was going to be an exciting challenge, the results of which promised to be a meaningful addition to the many places of significance in the Baba world.
Phase one consists of the entire second floor of the classroom wing, which will house MAC’s archival spaces, offices, New Life Library, reading room, meeting room, meditative/reflection on Baba space and possibly display room and research spaces. After doing extensive repairs and refurbishing of major elements including the attic, roof, flooring, walls etc., we are now in a very intensified stage of establishing new rooms, doorways, archival storage rooms with new doors, floors walls and ceilings (ensuring them to be fire and water proof and properly air conditioned). We have expanded our crew size significantly and are presently installing a totally new electrical system, to be followed by plumbing and then the mechanical HVAC systems. While many detailed items remain on our list, we are progressing at a significantly heightened pace and hope to be able to reach our target date of phase one completion by December 22nd.
Join Ken for a 4 minute tour of the 2nd floor: ConstructionVideo09.11.20
This is a collaborative undertaking—it is heartening that to date we have realized more than $250,00 in sweat equity from volunteers who are invested in seeing this endeavor materialize. We invite everyone to participate in this project in any way that resonates with their own inclinations (volunteer labor, financially, thinking positive thoughts, and sharing with others our visions and plans).Please feel free to contact me or any of those associated with this project to learn more about our ongoing efforts and discover ways that you might be able to participate.
Vice President, Board of Directors, Building Project Manager; Ken.Blackman@MeherArchive.org
All hands on deck! Pouring the ceiling of the upper archive storage area in concrete to ensure maximum protection from fire, water, damage
Pouring the new door framing. Meher New LIfe Center 10.02.20
The work at the Meher Archive Collective/Meher New Life Center is entering a new, accelerated and exciting phase—we are looking for people in the community who can help out, even for a few hours a week. Many of the 6000 volunteer hours at the site thus far have included a lot of carpentry and other technical support, with ongoing support by the clean up crew, which has helped to move and preserve materials for future use as well. Many jobs that do not require specific skills but are very necessary for progress in the work—things like sweeping, sanding, scraping paint, and other clean up jobs on site to help the work proceed smoothly. An added plus is that with volunteers doing this work, the project saves a lot of money in labor costs and lets us pay for the required construction jobs.
The area is large and social distancing is easy. Ken Blackman and Jeannie Felknor work together to direct the clean up and volunteer efforts. We will put together a list of possible volunteers who have some time and would like to join the team at the beautiful site of the MAC/MNLC. We would let you know what is happening—when and what kind of help is needed—what fits best for you.
If you have other interests or skills that you can offer, such as phone calling, outreach, fundraising, computer scanning, data entering, events etc., please let us know and we can connect with you when the time comes. Just respond to email@example.com
We welcome your ideas for bringing the community together around work in service for Meher Baba.
As always, thanks for your support and while we miss seeing everyone, we want you to know the work goes on at the MAC and you are welcome to come and visit and jump in.
Looking forward to days when we can all gather again for community events!
Renee Bussanich, Board Secretary, Liaison for HR and Volunteer Committees
MAC BOARD OF DIRECTORS
(L-R): Ken, Evie, Scott, Hugh, Renee, Anne and Jean pose for a photo while social distancing at Meher New Life Center on 10.01.2020. Photo by: Chris Barker
Board Contacts: Anne.Barker@Meherarchive.org; Evie.Lindemann@Meherarchive.org;
Ken.Blackman@Meherarchive.org; Renee.Bussanich@Meherarhive.org; Scott.Tower@Meherarchive.org
MAC’s Mission Statement
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.
Meher Archive Collective
Meher New Life Center - 53 Red Oak School Road, Weaverville NC 28787
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