UPDATE FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, MARIN HISTORY MUSEUM
May 11, 2015
The Marin History Museum Board of Directors continues in its commitment to keep the Marin community informed about its activities and to correct any erroneous or inaccurate information that has been disseminated by the press and individual critics.
The Marin History Museum’s Board speaks publicly through the Board’s President or other Board-appointed designee. All issues and opportunities are thoroughly discussed, carefully weighed and unanimously decided upon by the Board.
After careful consideration and exhaustion of available options following three years of fund-raising efforts and outreach to the Marin Community, the Board met with the City of San Rafael and the County of Marin prior to concluding its decision to dissolve and seek another non-profit 501(c)(3) to care for the Museum’s Collections.
Vacating the Boyd Gate House
· Heavy rains in December 2014 triggered flooding inside the then Museum-occupied Boyd Gate House, with a subsequent, noticeable change in the air quality.
· In late January 2015, the Boyd Gate House was found to be uninhabitable and unsuitable for workers and public entry due to a mold infestation. The mold presence was officially reported by an air and water science firm to the Museum Board, and the written environmental report was shared with the owner/landlord, the City of San Rafael.
· Mold remediation of the Museum’s belongings was required. All artifacts were professionally cleaned, packed and relocated to MHM’s Collections facility in Novato, and all mission-critical business items to a temporary office space. The Boyd Gate House was emptied and restored to “broom clean” and returned to the City, the City and MHM mutually agreed to terminate the lease after the Museum paid the City proceeds of the $50,000 it had raised for repairs of the facility.
Monetization of Selected Assets
· The Museum was unable to raise enough funds to sustainably continue its operations and determined that it was necessary to monetize certain MHM assets in order to protect the larger Collections while it works through the dissolution process. This is a standard, legal, acceptable practice, commonplace in other museums and non-profits.
· The full Board evaluated and approved the engagement with what became the Museum’s licensed, bonded and insured independent estate sales contractor, B and C Estate Sales. Job scope was to identify limited items as potential candidates for monetization, pending Museum release by the Board/its designee. Limited items were to be chosen and agreed upon for removal by both parties involved. Additionally, B and C was to appraise Museum artifacts that are part of its permanent collection and ineligible for release.
· The Board entrusted B and C to access the MHM Collections facility on its own. This is a standard business practice used by bonded, licensed, insured estate sales appraisers.
· The Museum’s Board designee was instructed to personally qualify each candidate item, and then to release to B and C only if the candidate item met two specific criteria – that the item was non-Marin history specific and non-donor restricted. This process was to be achieved via query into the Museum's database and files.
· The Museum’s Board designee in this process – Marcie Miller – had been a long-term MHM employee until April of 2014, when her status changed to Volunteer Director of Programming. The Board separated her from further Museum representation in mid-March 2015.
· No items were sold to B and C. The Museum only released unrestricted items to B and C for the estate sales process.
· On Friday 4/17/15, the County of Marin offered to provide MHM with operating funds to carry us through the dissolution process, which enabled us to discontinue monetizing assets. On Sunday, 4/19/15, MHM was able to reach B and C’s owner and requested that he cease selling its released items, immediately return them to MHM, and advise MHM of current sales proceeds. B and C responded with a written Agreement Termination Letter on 4/20/15, and subsequently returned the Museum’s unsold items on 5/6/15.
· Bottom line: The Museum is presently auditing and reconciling the lists of items released, items sold and items returned. Of the estimated 20,000 items in the Marin History Museum’s Collections, our abbreviated review indicates that the Museum listed and released 276 items to B and C for possible sale. The Board has learned that some items that did not meet the specified requirements for sale also were released to B and C or taken in error on 2/26/15. As a result, some of these items were sold by B and C, and we are continuing our audit and reconciliation of all released, sold and returned items.
· The Board of Directors’ announcement to dissolve the Museum has resulted in outreach from many supporters in the Marin community. We continue to work diligently to safeguard and maintain the Collections and will continue to focus on those efforts.
· We also continue to meet with qualified and interested parties who want to assist in the preservation of the Museum and its assets.
The Marin History Museum Board of Directors continues to take its fiduciary responsibilities as trustees very seriously and is committed to the collection, preservation and sharing of Marin’s rich history. We continue to work cooperatively with representatives of the California Attorney General’s office, given their oversight role of the dissolution process for non-profit corporations.
Please continue to visit our website for updated information as it becomes available at www.marinhistory.org.
Thank you sincerely, to our members and supporters, for your interest and support.
B O A R D O F D I R E C T O R S
Joan Capurro Karin Hern, Esq. S.Kramer Herzog Ann Laurence
Mike Pile Lowell Smith Lisa Treshnell Jean Zerrudo
M A R I N H I S T O R Y M U S E U M
Check out these recent Marin History Videos produced by Marin's very own Ed Dudkowski.
Ed is a highly acclaimed TV innovator and visionary with multiple patents. Read more here.
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A women of historic firsts, Louise Boyd explored the globe.
In scrapbooks curated at the Marin History Museum, news clippings from newspapers around the world, in several languages, proclaim the events in Louise Boyd’s life. “Arctic Diana,” “The Girl Who Tamed the Arctic,” read the headlines. The old Independent Journal announces the gala receptions for the Marin Music Chest. And then there are little clippings about a dinner for several friends or a tea to raise money for a worthy cause.
These two phases of Louise Boyd’s life lie side by side on the scrapbook page; the Arctic explorer and the society woman. Louise Boyd was a paradox. She seemed to slip from one lifestyle to the other so easily. It has always been a puzzle how Louise Boyd accomplished the transition so gracefully.
Read more about Louise Boyd here