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JustSeeds needs your help!

December 21, 2006

For 10 years, JustSeeds has been a critical resource for radical artists working outside the “art world” system. In the process of becoming a decentralized artist-owned cooperative, the floor suddenly fell out from under them. The collapse of Clamor Magazine leaves JustSeeds without a distributor, and about $10,000 in the hole.
The community of art-activists around JustSeeds have launched national projects like the Celebrate People’s History poster series, Street Art Workers, Drawing Resistance, Cut & Paint, and a hell of a lot more. Their also the main inspiration and example that led Visual Resistance to do what we do. Now they need your help to continue.
Below is a letter from Josh MacPhee:
1. Last week the company that was filling Justseeds’ online orders (including hosting the webstore, processing payments, and shipping products), unexpectedly went bankrupt, immediately shutting down Justseeds’ online store. This was a complete shock to me, as the fulfillment company was going through a transition of ownership, but no one had mentioned the possibility of collapse or bankruptcy. On top of shutting down distribution, the fulfillment house owed Justseeds upwards of $10,000 (most of that money in turn was owed directly to artists and zinesters who sold items on the site).
This has come at a terrible time – the holiday season is hardly the time to close up shop. Additionally, justseeds was in the process of transitioning to become an artist/worker owned and operated collective, with over a half dozen artists linking together to make a much more exciting and dynamic website and store. All the artists involved would make the site the primary venue for distributing their work, bringing dozens of new prints, posters, books and zines to the site. We also had plans of merging with the political street art website VisualResistance.org to add a political art blogging feature. Now this is all in jeopardy. The formation of our new collective entity will be near impossible if we are saddled with such a huge debt before we even get off the ground.
2. I’m asking people to help rebuild Justseeds.org. Your donation will keep political art available and support artists doing work that is not fundable through art world and granting channels. Any donations would be more than welcome, from $5 to $500. If 1,000 people gave $10 each, that would cover the debt. You can donate by going to www.justseeds.org/donate.html. Any money that comes in will go directly to servicing old debt and then getting the new collective up and running.
In addition to monetary support, I would be happy to receive suggestions of new fulfillment houses, pro-bono business and accounting advice, and help spreading the word about the situation. This is a critical moment and justseeds might go under, which would have an impact on a large community of artists and writers who depend on justseeds for distribution and supporters who depend on it to access to art they can’t find anywhere else.
3. Although the online store is down, I will continue to sell items, particularly Celebrate People’s History posters, wholesale to stores and other distributors. If you know of a store that might be interested in carrying the posters or other Justseeds items, please ask them to get in touch.
For those that have subscribed to the Celebrate People’s History poster series, I WILL BE honoring and fulfilling the subscriptions. According to the fulfillment house, four new posters went out to subscribers late last week, and hopefully should arrive just before or after christmas – let’s cross our fingers. I had plans to print another four in January and February, but this is now dependent on dealing with some of the debt.
Thanks to everyone that has supported Justseeds since I started it back in 1997. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue for another ten years.
Solidarity,
Josh MacPhee/justseeds.org
josh [at] justseeds [dot] org
justseeds.org/donate.html

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