Thanks for your kind offer. The organization I work for has a dedicated development department that already does a significant amount of grant writing and fundraising. In addition to the clay studio, we have community printing, photo and digital media studios that offer monthly rental and classes like the clay studio, a painting studio, several contemporary art galleries and an art sales and leasing program. Some of these programs generate a significant amount of revenue while others are supported by the successes of the stronger programs. We are a division of the City of Burlington, Vermont and also hold federal non-profit status. The city supports us through administrative costs like payroll and employee benefits and through providing us the space to exist, but we are responsible for a little over 80% of our annual budget. Check us out online at www.BurlingtonCityArts.com, and if you're ever in Burlington, Vermont stop in and say hi!
My initial question about bringing the clay back to life had much more to do with effort than dollars. I'm not suggesting being wasteful or that we don't have a budget to stick to, but at the point the clay is "dead" we've already sold it to our patrons at least once (in the form of fresh, bagged Laguna clay), if not several times (as reclaim). If there was an easy solution like adding some ball clay, I would have gone that route. But given the testing required for essentially making a new clay body would have been far more expensive and time consuming than just starting fresh.
We slaked down about 500lbs of trimming scraps (thrown only once) last week and pugged the first of it this past weekend. Our afterschool instructors have been very happy this week, as the clay is elastic and the kids are having success on the wheels. Sometimes a fresh start is in order.