Greetings from LATDA's Director of Transparency...
Making a museum…it is a fascinating and arduous process, unlike an early glib statement I once made about any fool being able to do it. I now see the definition of ‘fool’ as being something quite different than before. Now I am thinking more of the Fool as defined by the tarot card with the smiling wanderer stepping of the edge of the cliff because his eyes are focussing on some vision in the far distant horizon.

How do you let people know that you are actually staying on course when you don’t have your infrastructure (building, collection, marketing team) up and running? How do you show the work of making connections, spinning multiple projects like so many plates on sticks until the right moment arrives and they are all up at once? How do you show how impassioned you are in your mission?

Well, in this time of instant connectivity,
the answer is surprisingly simple – BLOGS!

Interestingly enough (or not) I have actually been keeping a sort of offline blog for the past three years. I have kept a journal that has been augmented by interactive email entries from friends and relatives. Not all of it is about LATDA, of course. Friends and partners have moved across country, died, gotten ill, gotten married, given birth, changed jobs, traveled the world. The world has enjoyed unsurpassed prosperity, financial disaster, cataclysmic psychic change, extreme corruption, war and atrocity. All in the same short span of time that one toy museum has been gamely struggling into being. Having gone back to see what progress has been made, I am surprised by how much ebb and flow of the process is documented.

Six years ago today, four of us gathered in a room for our very first meeting to talk about LATDA. It was an incredible brainstorming session that brought up everything from rules of incorporation to architectural designs for a donor name wall. The mantra was, ‘It will take us a long time, but ultimately it will be worth it.’

We are now five, and not all original cast members. Perhaps we will be more before the end of the year. This year we finally got our web site up. We are close to determining our first exhibition/installation. We are in the process of assembling our first fundraiser.
But there is still so much to be done! For example, we have been trying to settle on a physical location and have been presented with a wealth of possible sites – Chinatown? Noho? San Pedro? Hollywood? Eagle Rock? Glendale? Pasadena? Each place has its pros and cons, its support groups and possibilities for building a community.

Could we have picked a worse economic climate to begin fundraising for a non-profit organization? I think not! But it is forcing us to think of new creative ways to raise money. One way is to engage the public in our process so that they too will see that we are an entity that deserves its support. And to that end, we invite you to follow us on our journey and to join us when you feel like it. Let us know what you think about anything you read here. If you allow us to, we will share your input.

I will be creating an archive of pertinent entries from the past three or four years, so you can read some of the interesting stories that have been generated by the birthing of this museum. They may make you ponder the mysterious way life has of revealing one’s destiny.

MARIA KWONG
6 October 2003