Left In Lowell

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October 3, 2013

Govt Shutdown and Lowell Open Studios

by at 10:49 am.

Lowell Open Studios is this weekend (Oct 5 & 6, 11am to 5pm both days). But the outlook is not rosy for all its venues.

The Brush Gallery has been closed due to the government shutdown. The Brush has a coop agreement with the National Parks Service, and therefore, if the government shuts down, The Brush (along with the Mogan Center and other venues with similar agreements) has to close its doors. And the National Parks lot is also closed, which means the downtown venues of Open Studios are all going to be affected. (And with that, also, the businesses downtown where visitors to LOS might eat and shop.)

I talked with Eileen, the director of the Brush and a friend of mine, about the situation. Since the doors are closed, the Brush will not be charging any of its tenant artists while this shutdown is in place. These artists not only show their work here but DO their work here, so closing the Bursh is especially frustrating for them. And the loss of the rent is thousands of dollars a month of lost revenue for the Brush, not to mention lost sales for the artists, lost exposure for the venue (right during the beginning of the big season for sales) and probably a substantial loss of donations, since often people who visit the Brush leave small donations.

The artist community has opened its arms to Brush artists for Open Studios weekend, and you will find a number of its artists at the nearby Gates Block Studios at 307 Market St, on the third floor. Please visit them there!

A number of Brush members have expressed gratitude for the generosity of the wider artist community for coming to their rescue for LOS. Of course, for the long haul, Brush artists are going to lose a lot of exposure and sales if the shutdown is not resolved soon.

To that end, I’d like you to keep the Brush artists in especial mind this fall and winter, as you start shopping for gifts for the holidays. Once they are open again, please consider stopping by, whether that’s for an opening for a show - they are supposed to have a new show opening in November, should the shutdown be resolved by then, called “In Cold Blood” - which is about lizards and amphibians, not murder! Or else visit them during their regular hours (once they are open) just because. Find something you love and buy it.

Also, if you are able, please consider a donation of any size to offset the loss of revenues for The Brush. Winter is coming and they will have to pay for their heat and light, and those bills are not cheap. The loss of the rental and other revenue will affect their operations budget. You can donate here online.

And let’s hope the shutdown will be resolved very soon, before it hurts more people.

8 Responses to “Govt Shutdown and Lowell Open Studios”

  1. Pamela Wamala Says:

    Thank you for sharing this information with your readers Lynne. I hope the shutdown is over soon - it is quite a hardship and extremely disruptive. Thank you to the Gates Block Artists, Steve Syverson, Nick Sarris and the Open Studio Committee for coming to the Brush Artists’ rescue for Open Studios Weekend. Let’s make it a super weekend! Pamela Wamala

  2. Will Winslow Says:

    Thank you, Lynne. We’re making lemonade out of the Washington lemons. Will

  3. Chrissy Theo Hungate, Brush Artist Says:

    Thanks for giving us a voice, Lynne! Hope to see you over the weekend.

  4. Penny Cox Says:

    Lynne….thanks for your attention regarding this matter. It has been and is VERY frustrating for those of us who call The Brush our Place of Work as well as our Artistic Home / Family.

    Penny

  5. Lynne Says:

    You guys are all welcome. See you this weekend! Hope it’s great! And that next week things’ll go back to normal. *fingers crossed!*

  6. Eileen Byrne Says:

    This is just a thank you to the Lowell National Historical Park. They have been good to the Brush over the years and we are very grateful. I received a personal phone call from Celeste Bernardo, LNHP Superintendent saying that if there had been any way for us to stay open during this government shutdown the LNHP would have found it. In what must be very stressful time for her, given that she sees the hardships being endured by her co-workers who are going without salaries, she still found time to contact us and to let us know how all of this would be affecting the Brush. Let’s hope for a speedy resolution so all of us can get on with business!

  7. C R Krieger Says:

    I see the impact of the shutdown myself.  My older son called me Tuesday and told me I should talk to my younger son about getting a more reliable employer (the younger son works for a branch of DOJ, the Marshall Service, and is not “Mission Essential”, and thus furloughed).

    But, what struck me as strange in this blog post was closing the parking lot.  It is probably a net balance zero here in Lowell parking slots wise, but why does it need to be shut down?

    Just curious.

    Regards  —  Cliff

  8. Taxpayer Says:

    Keep up the good work!

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