“Voided Gallery Purchase”

Email to Megan Somerville-Loomis, President of artEAST—No Reply


Megan,

Your message about my membership payment for the remainder of 2013 being “voided” has been received. I hope that you will carefully consider the implications of banning a longstanding member and generous contributor for personal reasons. If a valid reason to deny me membership in ArtEAST exists, then I am entitled to know what it is and I insist that you tell me without further delay. Mike Larson’s intimidation tactics degraded to threats in his last email and I want no further contact with him.


Six months after the decision to deny me membership and repeated requests for an explanation, one was finally presented by an anonymous emailer.

On Feb 10, 2014, artEAST Art Center wrote:

Dear [Victim],

As previously communicated*, we do not believe that artEAST is the best organization to meet your needs and we have refunded your membership fee. Best of luck with your artistic endeavors.

artEAST Board of Directors


*Not true. No reason had been previously communicated.

I responded that it is up to me to decide if artEAST meets my needs or not, and repaid my membership dues. Then, another anonymous email (below) announced that more information on the matter will be provided within one week, and also, that I will not be allowed to respond to any charges. This email also states that if I pay my dues again, they will keep the money “to cover costs” but still deny me membership.


Information promised in one week. Why not now? Why not 6 months ago?

From: artEAST Art Center <info@arteast.org>

Subject: Refund of Membership Dues
Date: February 21, 2014

Dear [Victim],

We are providing more information about why your membership application has been denied, and will continue to be denied by the Board of Directors, in a letter which you will receive within one week. There will be no further explanation provided beyond this letter.

Your most recent membership dues payment has again been refunded to you via Paypal and your membership will not be accepted. Any further payments from you for membership will be retained to cover administration costs, but will not result in your acceptance as a member of artEAST.

artEAST Board of Directors


Again, I paid my membership dues online and included this note:

[Victim]: Mar 16, 2014 @ 7:50 AM

  • Purchase(s): Continued membership. Note: An anonymous email from artEAST claimed that the discriminatory actions against me would be explained within one week. Several weeks later, no such explanation has materialized. Months have passed since I listed 11 reasons why a membership ban is unacceptable. None of them have been challenged, so I will continue to regard myself a member whether my fee is kept or returned.

[Victim]: The reason an organization has rules is to prevent arbitrary decisions and to ensure fairness. I have followed the rules and I think it’s reasonable to ask that people in responsible positions do, too.


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