(version française ci-dessous)
A NOTE TO OUR CURRENT MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS
Les Amis de la Maison Baldwin is the latest incarnation of the project formerly known as His Place in Provence. Many of you were members and donors to that organization; to you we owe an enormous debt of gratitude, because you have been critical to this work. Without the financial and moral support of our Founding Members, we would never have made it this far.
Many of you are hearing from us for the first time and many others haven't heard from us for a very long while. It was necessary for a lot of reasons that our efforts remain quiet and unpublicized. Thank you so much for your patience during what has certainly appeared to be an organizational demise.
Nothing could have been further from the truth.
All along, we have been working towards the preservation of James Baldwin's house. We have engaged a team of lawyers, who have recently followed up on a proposal for a public-private partnership that we sent to the owners of the Baldwin villa several weeks ago.
Our project has gained the support of individuals within UNESCO and the French Ministry of Culture, who are standing by to intervene.
Three months ago, we relocated our organization to Saint Paul de Vence, rented a house in the village in a prime location for visitors, and opened a welcome center. Our doors are open to the more than 2 million people per year who visit Saint Paul de Vence. This fall, we have seen hundreds of visitors, educating them about James Baldwin's life here and leading guided tours to his former house.
More than 30 artists from the cote d'azur region have placed their work in our nonprofit art gallery. They offer their pieces, many inspired by the life and work of James Baldwin, at a great discount to help support our efforts.
To recognize the 30th anniversary of his death, we are hosting a retrospective exhibit called "James Baldwin, Saint Paulois," in collaboration with the village of Saint Paul de Vence, from December 1 through the 15th, at the city-owned L'Espace Verdet. On display will be Baldwin's dictionary; his typewriter; personal effects; several volumes from his library; and manuscripts of his work.
Finally the time is right for our organization to come out publicly. We can wait no longer. Next week, we hope, the members of our team, including our architect, will sit down with him to lay out our proposal and vision for what could become a win-win situation for us all.
Wish us luck. We will keep you informed.
In the meantime, please stand by for our public launch, which is coming on Tuesday.
Please don't share any of this on social media yet. Word of mouth is perfectly fine...but keep it between friends. Consider this note a heads-up to our current members that we're about to go public. (If you are a member of the media, please be in touch if you'd like to arrange an interview.)
You've landed here on our new website. Please take a look around, and be advised it is still under construction (notably the online art sale, which awaits many new pieces!). Again, kindly do not share this link on social media yet. We will let you know when the moment is right.
Thank you so much for your good energy and support.
As always, do feel free to send us a donation. The hardest part about being underground is doing it without the resources that visibility can bring. If you'd like to give us a boost (to cov