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OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.

DISPATCH WINTER 2002

WILL SUCCESS CAUSE THE TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATION'S DEMISE?
To All Members and Friends of the Foundation

First, the good news: the Seventh Annual Erotic Art Weekend in October broke all records. More people attended the Friday night Artists Reception, the Saturday night Awards Banquet [see story on page 2], and the Sunday morning seminar – this year presented by Board Member Cliff Benjamin on “The Fine Art of Collecting” – than ever before.  And at the two-day Fair, attendance was the highest yet, with art sales topping the previous high by a whopping 25%!

Cliff Benjamin of the Mark Moore Gallery (standing) mans the slide projector at the Sunday morning seminar

We’ve set other records during 2001: Tom’s Bar had the biggest crowd ever; the Foundation produced the first Erotic Art Fair in New York; we hosted forums on heterosexual art and animation; and fund raisers were held in Boston, Palm Springs, and the Russian River.

Now the bad news: success doesn’t come cheap, and we’re in trouble.

One reason the Art Fair’s sales were so high is that a record number of artists (70) exhibited. But to give them space, we had to expand from three lofts to four, which cost us an additional $2,500 in rent, plus increases in the overall rent for the facility as well. Of course, having more space also meant our insurance costs were higher, and we had dramatic increases in the costs of renting display panels, tables, chairs, and lights. To top it all off, there were staggering cost increases in advertising and promotional mailings.

Artist Ray Castro (seated) was just one of the artists that made this year’s Fair the biggest yet.

And – though it’s surely no news to any of you – day-to-day costs of running the Foundation, such as postage, printing, and office supplies have been rising. Not too long ago, our office computer crashed, and we had to buy a new one. The office copy machine – an antique if ever there was one! – requires constant repair. And on and on and on.

The result? Though the Erotic Art Weekend was a “success,” we actually did not make any revenue for the Foundation out of producing the event. We have built into our operations budget approximately $10,000 in anticipated revenue from the Fair, and that just didn’t happen this year. We’re spending more money on our other programs than we’re getting in from donations and memberships. On top of all of that, our savings – which were invested in mutual funds – have been seriously eroded by the slide in the stock market prior to and after the events of September 11. As is the case with other charity organizations, we have experienced a severe decline in contributions from our community during this last quarter

We are attempting to secure grants to cover specific projects, but, even if we’re successful, those are in the future. We will be going after corporate and individual underwriting, to cut down on our up-front costs for, among other events, Tom’s Bar and the Art Fair for 2002. And we are in the process of going through the budget, determining how we can trim costs, and where we need to cut back.

Photographer Henning Von Berg (L) and the Hun will surely be at next year's Erotic Art Fair

The Board has also authorized the Foundation to release for sale to the public, for the first time, three original Tom of Finland finished drawings, and four rough sketches, in order to raise needed funds. These superb works, from the 60s and 70s, may be viewed at the Mark Moore Gallery’s website, www.markmooregallery.com.

We need your help if the Foundation is to survive and thrive. If your membership is coming up for renewal, please do it promptly; if you can make an additional donation, we would be grateful. If your company has a matching-gifts program, please consider donating in that way, since it doubles your gift to the Foundation. If you know of grants which are available, or of a corporation or business which would sponsor either an event or part of our programs – or if you can do something like that yourself – please let us know.

Volunteering is a great way to show your support, and it's fun too, as you can see from the smiles on the faces of Jerry Garsbane (L) and Paul Kraus on bartender duty at the FridayCocktail Party

Most of all, we need you to spread the word about the Foundation: it’s amazing how many people know the name Tom of Finland, but still have no idea he established a nonprofit Foundation which actively works to further the cause of erotic art. If each member and friend could gain us a couple of “converts” – people who might become members or boosters – it would go a long way towards solving our fiscal woes. If you’re an artist, and are not a member of the Foundation, it’s time for you to realize that if you value our presence then you need to support us financially also.

Having said all that, we want to thank you all for your continued support. At times of crisis, we appreciate our friends more than ever. We wish you a wonderful New Year!

- Durk Dehner, President

MORE EROTIC ART WEEKEND PICTURES

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© TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATION 2002


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