Update on our Fundraising Drive!

For immediate release.

The Henry Miller Memorial Library Announces Phase Three of 2012 Fundraising Drive:
a rare and intimate evening with Rufus Wainwright (Sept 28th).

In the Spring of 2012, the Henry Miller Library launched its 2012 fundraising drive to help pay for State and Federally mandated health and safety requirements.

During Phase 1 (which is still ongoing), donors receive incredible rewards like free tickets, t-shirts, books, and more for making their tax-deductible donation to the Library, which is a 501 (c) (3) arts organization.

Phase 2 was the June 25th Philip Glass, Joanna Newsom, and Tim Fain benefit at the Warfield in San Francisco.  The event, which generated national attention, was a smashing success.

And now comes Phase 3: Jesse Goodman presents a rare and intimate evening with Rufus Wainwright on Sept 28th at the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur.

The Library is extremely fortunate and honored to have Rufus perform: he follows a long line of previous artists who have performed benefits for the Library, including Philip Glass, Patti Smith, Marianne Faithful, Henry Rollins, Yo La Tengo and Laurie Anderson.

And as with these previous benefit performances, all proceeds will go to the Henry Miller Memorial Library.

At the time of this writing, the Library has raised well over $50,000; and now thanks to the generosity of both promoter Jesse Goodman and Rufus Wainwright, the Library’s fundraising goal of $140,000 will soon be within reach.

Since the launch of the drive, the Library has made great progress in its efforts to meet state and county regulations. There are two main challenges: a new septic system with additional bathrooms to accommodate public gatherings; and implementing a water delivery system.

Regarding the former, the Library has installed a new septic system, including a 100-foot long leach field, and the engineering and architectural plans for the new bathrooms are completed.

Regarding the latter, the Library is currently in negotiations with regulatory agencies concerning an efficient and cost-effective public water delivery system. The final application to the County is still pending.

The Library anticipates receipt of the building permit in the later summer/early fall. Construction will begin in the fall once the permit is received and the necessary funds are secured.

Please help spread the word and join us on September 28th,
and as always, thank you for your continued support!


Below a letter written in May of 2012 regarding our need for funding.

Dear Friend of the Henry Miller Memorial Library,

This is a plea for help. We need to upgrade our facilities to create a sustainable Library and it’ll cost much more than we have in our savings.

We need to raise $140,000.00 by the fall of this year!

We’ll kick-off this campaign with a mind-blowing benefit concert: Philip Glass and Joanna Newsom, together onstage (!) at the Warfield in San Francisco on June 25th.

Plus, we’re offering a host of incredible rewards for your generous tax-deductible donation.

In 1981, Emil White founded the Henry Miller Memorial Library in honor of his friend Henry Miller. Three decades later, thanks to the help of countless artists, musicians, and supporters such as yourself, this sleepy place has become awe-inspiring.

But the Library as we know it is in jeopardy. We need to modernize our water system and improve our bathroom facilities to meet federally-mandated health and safety requirements, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. Failure to comply with these regulations will force us to suspend the types of gatherings you’ve come to love: internationally renowned musicians and artists, our international short film screening series, the Big Sur Food and Wine Festival – the list goes on.

The renovation plans have been filed and pending approval; construction will begin this fall.  You can rest assured that the impact of your donation will be immediate and meaningful: it will ensure the long-term survival of the Library.

But there’s also a more tangible benefit, we are providing a host of rewards based on your level of donation. These rewards include tickets for up to five events, and an invitation to the end-of-the-season donor appreciation celebration, books, shirts, and much more.

One last thing: this is the first “official” capital improvement fundraising request we have sent – ever.  This is no coincidence.  The Library’s funding model is unique: we subsist thanks to book sales, event-related income, daily donations, and small grants. For over 30 years, it’s worked very well, until now.

Yet it is precisely the nature of this challenge that speaks to the incredible support we’ve enjoyed throughout the years: we’ve outgrown our facilities, and it’s simply time for the next chapter – one that is sustainable, compliant, and will improve the experience for every bewildered or starry-eyed visitor who steps through our gates.

If you like more detail about our capital improvements please go to our website and/or call (831-667-2574) anytime – best of course is if you stop in!

Please join us as we embark on this next chapter.

Thank you for your ongoing support!

Magnus Toren

Executive Director
Henry Miller Memorial Library