Letters to the Board

NOTE: The deadline for submitting letters to be printed and presented to the Board at the November 29, 2018 meeting has passed.

Read about the presentation of the letters received before the deadline to the Board on our blog, or just go right to the letters here.

Although the deadline has passed, we are still passing on letters that we receive.

Hello Save Old Town School supporters!
In the past four weeks, many of you have expressed dismay and anger about the sudden announcement of the plan to sell the historic 909 W. Armitage building, and you’ve reached out to us at Save Old Town School to ask how you can help. Here’s an important way you can help right now.

The Old Town School of Folk Music is a non-profit organization that is governed by a Board of Directors, which is tasked with making important decisions about the school and steering its direction. The directors of the Old Town School board are the ones that truly hold the future of the Armitage building— and of the entire school — in their hands.

We at Save Old Town School believe it is vitally important that each of the board members has an opportunity to hear all the voices of the community on this issue.

That’s why we’re asking for your help!

We know that dozens — maybe hundreds — of you have already written a letter or e-mail to the Executive Director Bau Graves or Chairman of the Board Kish Khemani.  We want to make sure that any letter sent to either of them is also passed on to the entire board.

How you can help?

If you’ve already written a letter, we ask that you forward a copy of your letter or e-mail to us at: MyLetterSOTS@gmail.com or submit your letter by copy and pasting it into our form field below.
We will compile all the letters we receive and make sure that they are all forwarded together in a single document to each board member, as well as to Mr. Graves.*

If you haven’t already sent a letter to the board, now is the time to do so!
We invite you to write your letter addressed to Mr. Graves, Mr. Khemani, and/or the Old Town School Board of Directors and e-mail it to us* at MyLetterSOTS@gmail.com. Feel free to use the easy form below.

What should you say in your letter to the board?
The most powerful letters are those that reflect your beliefs, your experience and your ideas, so if possible, try to write even a few sentences, perhaps answering some of the following questions: 
•    What role does the Old Town School of Folk Music play in your life, especially the Armitage location?
•    What do you think about the board’s decision to sell the Armitage building? What do you think of the way the announcement was made and the lack of communications from the administration to the Old Town School community since then?
•    Do you believe the school’s administration has made enough of a case that it’s necessary to sell the building?
•    The limited information communicated from the administration is that the sale is needed because enrollment in classes is down, and the proceeds will be used to seed an endowment fund. Do you have ideas for increasing enrollment or starting an endowment fund that don’t require selling off one of the school’s two campuses? 
•    Do you feel that the board and Mr. Graves value your perspectives and opinions as an Old Town School community member?
•    Are you a student, member or donor? How have the events of the past month affected the likelihood of your continuing to support the school financially?

Or, just say whatever you believe the board needs to hear!

If you cannot write your own message, then feel free to copy and paste the one below, “sign” it by adding your name, and hit submit on the form below. We’ll include it in the compilation of letters! Alternatively, you can e-mail it to us* at MyLetterSOTS@gmail.com.

Dear Old Town School Board of Directors and Mr. Graves: 

I join the thousands of other members of the Old Town School community of students, teachers, and staff in expressing my dismay and anger at the sudden announcement of the sale of the Armitage building, as well as the complete lack of communication by the administration about the basis of the decision in the weeks since then. The Old Town School holds a special place in my life as well as in the cultural life of Chicago, and the school’s community deserves better than this. I implore you to communicate with us and listen to the analysis, ideas, and offers of help that are pouring in your direction as a result of the announcement. Thank you. 

(Your Name)

Make sure to send your letter to us by Tuesday, November 27th so we can forward them before the next board meeting on November 29th. We at Save Old Town School can’t wait to start receiving your letters!


Michelle Stenzel, Janna Henning and the Save Old Town School crew

* IMPORTANT NOTE: The letters and e-mails we receive at the MyLetterSOTS gmail address will be forwarded to the board members “as is”, with your names and e-mail addresses on display, so that the board members can be assured that you are all actual stakeholders. However, we at Save Old Town School also plan to publish a copy of your letters and messages on our website; on that publicly available document, your e-mail address and your last name will be removed (and any other material that clearly identifies you). By sending your letter to MyLetterSOTS@gmail.com, you are agreeing to the above. Please let us know if you have questions, and THANK YOU!


Please enter your letter below:

Name *