Letter from co-directors of The Philoctetes Center, Francis Levy (author of Erotomania: A Romance and forthcoming Seven Days in Rio) and Edward Nersesian, M.D.:
We are always happy to share a few highlights from our current season of programs. Unfortunately, at this time, we have to leaven our good news with some bad news.
First, the good news. The Philoctetes Center's 2011 programs are off to a great start. The January 29 roundtable “The Nature of Reality,” moderated by Deepak Chopra, attracted a standing-room-only audience, many of whom returned for the subsequent roundtables in our “Big Questions” series—“The Limitations of Mental and Physical Reality” and “Theories of Everything.” In fact, turnout for our events has never been greater, and archival videos on our YouTube channel regularly attract thousands of online viewers.
Our poetry and music series continue to showcase the peerless talents of artists and scholars like Jane Ira Bloom, Lewis Porter, and Heather Dubrow, who have organized and hosted events featuring the likes of Marilyn Nelson, Jonathan Culler, Min Xiao-Fen, and Ken Wessel. And our activities have been recognized with renewed support from the New York State Council on the Arts, The New York Department of Cultural Affairs, The Axe-Houghton Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Elsie Wunsch Trust, The Lindemann Abend Foundation, and Bloomberg, along with new grants and contributions from The New York Council for the Humanities, The Educational Foundation of America, Anthony Low-Beer, and, most importantly, supporters like you.
The bad news is that these funds only cover a portion of our roughly $200,000 annual budget, which has been streamlined to cover our most basic expenses: rent; utilities; salaries for our small, hardworking staff; and videography expenses (so that we can continue to share our events with an international online audience). As it stands, we currently have funds to get us through the next two months of programming. After that, we truly don’t know how we are going to continue providing what we believe is an important public service—enriching, one-of-a-kind programs that are free and open to the public.
Now more than ever, we rely on contributions from the people who enjoy our programs. Please consider supporting the Philoctetes Center with a contribution. You can access our Support page here and make a contribution by check or credit card.
Francis Levy & Edward Nersessian, M.D.