MMOP programs are suspended until further notice
From Michael Isaachsen, Founder and Curator of the Melbourne Museum of Printing:
Yes, our Landlord has been very helpful over the years when we failed to get support and had no money to engage staff, he was willing to let the rental debt build up while we garnered some sponsorship or other help.
Many conversations, no results. Probably I should have found others, braver than I, to do the initial talking.
An earlier post in December 2016 noted the generous donation from the sale of a flat in Footscray. That sale reduced MMOP debt by almost $300,000. Thanks to Anonymous, you saved the day, then. Not only the day, but the Museum.
Then, when the debt continued growing, our kindly landlord then made an offer to my family to redevelop a property and share the profits, and the overdue rental would be covered for some years.
Despite basic agreement, confirmed several times over 2017, there were technical problems with the contract. [details will be at mmop.org.au/support]. I and others planned greatly improved programs at MMOP, confident that our place would be safe, with no payment required until at least 2020.
Suddenly on 30 January 2018, the landlord withdrew his offer and gave us just a few days to find about $400,000 or he would terminate the lease and lock us out. Of course, this was the “PERFECT STORM” that would destroy the Museum.
About now, as I write, the Museum is to be locked against us, with all our presses, typesetters, cabinets and founts of type, archives and libraries now inaccessible to us and at peril of being sold or scrapped.
Despite the feeling that the Landlord has been too tough, I think he would care but perhaps the level of debt is causing him to be in trouble, too. So actually I feel responsible for his situation and I hope we can raise some funds and help him out.
Some of our supporters would know that I have worked to save the traditions of printing, the ancient crafts, and the many changes since about 1960, for forty years. I gave up my salaried job in 1991 to concentrate on developing the Museum and its programs. All my life savings have gone into MMOP, accompanied by substantial funding by family members, and all are now locked up with an uncertain future.
A certain family member may consider selling their house to save the Museum – the cash would save it, but leave that person in difficulty. I cannot allow them to make that sacrifice.
Please see mmop.org.au/support on our website. It will be available shortly.
To find our more, or suggest a way to go, or suggest a person with talent to help me contact relevant parties, please email me at :<a href=”mailto:support@mmop.
I am looking for a way to gain grants, sponsorships or charitable loans, or people who can work with me to break the ice with potential funders.
PS: for a substantial loan (at a charitable rate) to cover fixed expenses for at least three years, the potential lender will be supplied with detailed budget, business plan and governance plan to reassure them that this is a sound investment, one with two outcomes: a modest investment income for them and a great Museum for the community.
Regards, and thanks for reading this . . . Michael