You may have read my letter below about the loss of the NC Pottery Highway Heritage Trail. Today I received this letter. As it is addressed to friends of NC Pottery and Craft, I felt that I would like those that may not have read this to be able to.
The Department of Cultural Resources has done a fantastic job of working with the arts in NC. I was and remain thoroughly impressed with them since moving here in 1999.
Dear Friend of North Carolina Pottery and Craft:
Since early in my tenure as Secretary of the Department of Cultural Resources, I have been engaged in a variety of ways with our State’s wonderful pottery tradition – one which I and my staff prize – including exploration of steps to help this robust and lively industry grow and thrive.
As you may know, the Department had contemplated bringing the N.C. Pottery Center under its administration, to expand the state’s folklife resources. For a variety of reasons, including budget constraints and dissension by some potters in the Seagrove area, we elected to withdraw this initiative.
Recent allegations about the Department and its staff have been made by Mr. Phil Morgan and Mr. Don Hudson. Some of their e-mails have been widely circulated to you, to the community, press and elected officials.
I take this situation very seriously, including the damage done to the reputation of staff and of the Department. My staff is responding to the frequent requests for numerous documents, correspondence, grant applications and reports, primarily from 2007-2008. Some requests we cannot fulfill as they are beyond the Department’s scope of authority, yet we have been unable to effectively communicate this fact to them.
It is important that these matters be resolved. Therefore, I have requested that the Office of the State Auditor take a look at the allegations. A copy of my June 24th letter to State Auditor Beth Wood is attached. If there are issues that need to be addressed, we will take appropriate action. We will fully cooperate with the Auditor’s investigation and look forward to the Auditor’s assessment, and the opportunity to put this matter to rest.
We in the Department of Cultural Resources are charged with the protection and promotion of our state’s cultural resources. We are committed to working with you to help the pottery industry and its communities thrive.
Linda A. Carlisle
Secretary, N.C. Department of Cultural Resources