Fund Appeal 2019 | Syracuse Cultural Workers

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Fund Appeal 2019

May 22, 2019

Dear Friends and Supporters,

First I want to tell you why we send an annual fund appeal. The short answer is that it’s very, very difficult to maintain a feminist/progressive business in what is mostly an apolitical culture, (You folks not included!) A basic commitment of SCW is to produce beautiful, high quality products that are comparable to what the corporations inundate us with because our movements deserve it! Not only is this commitment more expensive for us, but it also gives some folks the mistaken impression that we are a profitable, comfortably successful business. I am occasionally asked, “Who do you donate part of your profits to?” Momentarily stunned, I usually respond there aren’t any profits and if there were I’d donate them to my woefully underpaid staff and the debt we’ve accumulated. 

The hourly pay range for my dedicated hard-working staff is $12 to $17/hr. after a small increase made possible by a profitable 2018 (thank you Trump!). Our first meaningful profit since 2006, prior to the recession. I own the company and our building, but I have not paid myself a salary or rent since 2009. I have been reluctant to share this information, but my long-time partner Karen insisted I owe it to you and myself to share it. 

All my staff could be making more money elsewhere, but they stay because they want to be part of making a difference. (Not that anyone would mind making more!) Five of us have been here more than 20 years, two others ten years. It is a great place to work. Flexible, supportive, cooperative. And of course SCW, with some help from Obamacare pays healthcare for everyone. 

Obviously, I tell you all this not to solicit your pity but to solicit your financial support! This is a fund appeal after all. Seriously, it makes things a little easier. Many years it has been the difference between losing money and a small profit. 

Many of you may know we are publishing a special calendar for the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in 2020. What began as an idea last fall has evolved into a remarkable document of courage and persistence. Hear Us Roar is due 6/21/19.

In Solidarity,

Dik Cool, Founder/Publisher


P.S. The 2020 Peace Calendar, as always, is brilliant. The March art is dedicated to passage of the ERA.