South Florida - The new but iconic Arts Garage location is in jeopardy. A Delray Beach Commissions’ vote will have economic and cultural impact on the Florida community so
Arts Garage supporters outraged that the acclaimed venue may be moved to make way for a personal injury law firm are joining together outside Delray Beach City Hall.
Florida Theatre Chat is asking all 3,800 fans to post this article on your facebook wall and share this very important information with your social media friends. This is a must for the future of this amazing arts venue. Arts Garage has offered almost every form of the arts from Jazz, Live Theatre, Concerts, Headliners and much more. Now is your chance to do give back by your support. Share and attend this Arts Garage - Delray Beach City Hall gathering. The address is listed at the bottom of this important article.
Arts Garage supporters will be gathering outside Delray Beach City Hall this Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. the supporters will gather before the 6:00 p.m. meeting
please invite and encouraged all and media to attend this critical meeting.
(TIMELINE): Arts Garage (www.artsgarage.org) has launched a petition to rally community support in their effort to keep their current location at 180 NE 1st Street. The Delray Beach City Commission is casting a critical vote that will affect not only the future of Arts Garage, the Pineapple Grove Arts District, and area restaurants and shops but the regional arts community. The commission will be deciding between two financially equal offers for the purchase of the space. One allows Arts Garage to retain their current venue, which has created significant growth and economic stimulus in the Pineapple Grove area; the other option sells the space to the personal injury law firm, Kanner & Pintaluga, which will utilize it for offices, effectively create a “dark” space on evenings and weekends.
Arts Garage supporters have been outraged by the news and have been signing the petition at change.org (www.change.org/petitions/keep-arts-garage-in-its-current-location; or search “arts garage”). Arts Garage has grown leaps and bounds in its short but effective 18-month history. This development comes on the heels of Arts Garage’s numerous successes including the two prestigious awards by the Miami based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and four nominations by the Carbonell Awards for its first produced production at The Theatre at Arts Garage. It receives critical and audience acclaim and majority of its performances are sell outs.
“In a short time of operations, Arts Garage has garnered regional reputation for transforming cultural landscape in South Florida through cutting edge programming and distinctly diverse, frequently sold out performances,” said Executive Director Alyona Ushe. Creative City Collaborate (dba Arts Garage) was created by the City of Delray Beach to spearhead artistic and economic growth and has far surpassed everyone’s expectations.
“We have gone above and beyond the tasks that were set for us by the City. We bring thousands of people a month to Delray, continue to be a powerful magnet for creativity and offer an array of educational and scholarship programs. Our patrons travel as far as Miami and Tampa to experience Arts Garage and Delray residents are thrilled to have world class cultural activities taking place in their own back yard. Moving the venue would be devastating to our success and to the further development of arts and culture of Delray Beach.”
Within 48 hours of posting the Arts Garage petition on Change.org, over 750 advocates have expressed their support. Everyone who is passionate about this cause is encouraged to attend the City Commission’s meeting on February 12, 2013 to express their opinion.
“We hope the Commission understands the long-term ramifications of their vote,” said Ushe. We need to work together to find the best solution for the city and for the regional arts and cultural community.”
“We are dismayed to learn of the plans to move the Arts Garage, and that the Commission is considering selling the space to a non-arts/entertainment merchant,” said Gene Fisher on behalf of the Directors of the Pineapple Grove Arts District. “We constantly struggled to entice people down NE Second Avenue, but things began to change with the success of Arts Garage. This venue has put Pineapple Grove on the map for all of Palm Beach and Broward Counties, even gaining national attention. P eople now come down this Avenue to see the shows, and they realize that that there are many fine restaurants and interesting shops, which they often return to. We strongly feel that Arts Garage must be allowed to permanently reside in its present location and continue to be the economic and social magnet it has become.”
Fisher also addressed in his letter to the Commission a common misconception that Arts Garage could easily move to the Arts Warehouse, a site near the railroad tracks that was proposed as the future home of Arts Garage. “The benefits that Arts Garage has brought to the community do not necessarily translate if the performance venue is moved to the Arts Warehouse. The location is unproven in its draw appeal, not to mention lack of covered secure lighted parking, dark streets and no restaurants or nightlife. Their presence at the Warehouse would not bring people to patronize the area’s restaurants or stores like the current location.”
Ushe agreed with Fisher by stating that the Warehouse is a space they hope to develop as an arts incubator over time, but Arts Garage, thanks to its incredible success, needs to remain in its current home in order to continue its guaranteed positive impact on the area.
Ushe is campaigning to get all the facts to the community about this situation:
- The Creative City Collaborative (DBA Arts Garage) submitted a formal letter of intent to the city for the space in early December 2012. Kanner & Pintaluga made an offer of the space in early December as well.
- Both offers are for $2.5 million dollars. Bob Schmier, an Arts Garage board member, will be a private investor on behalf of the Creative City Collaborative. He will be leasing the space to Arts Garage and leasing the other half of the space to bring in additional revenue for the city in sales tax and additional employees.
- While the law firm expects to add 30 new jobs if the location is approved, this pales in comparison to the driving economic force that Arts Garage has been in its leading position as the gateway to Pineapple Grove. The parking garage, local restaurants and shops all have experienced a notable increase since the inception of Arts Garage. In addition, to the above mentioned revenue from subleasing.
Gene Fisher concurs, “One must look at the overall economic impact resulting from the Arts Garage. According to Alyona Ushe, there are four shows a week that draw about 600 people into Pineapple Grove. Economic studies show that these 600 people spend about $76.00 each ($5.00 parking; $30.00 ticket; $21.00 for food and drink on the Avenue) each visit, which annualizes to $2,371,000 for the City of Delray Beach. Besides the economic benefit to the merchants and businesses in the City, the City will collect sales tax and property taxes will increase over time. These benefits do not necessarily translate if the performance venue is moved to the Arts Warehouse.”
Schmier and Feurring Properties are planning to make significant improvements to façade of the building and to open up to 2nd avenue to create greater vibrancy.
Artists and patrons agree that Arts Garage needs to stay where it is.
“The Arts Garage provides access to theater and music that has not been so easily accessible since I moved to Delray 14 years ago. My children, my friends, and I all enjoy this venue. The Arts Garage has also willingly partnered with my at risk socioeconomic-economically disadvantaged students of Tomorrow's Promise Community School providing access to the performing arts that my students would never have had an opportunity to experience. Losing this venue would be a loss for our entire community on many important levels...both social and economic,”
Marjorie Waldo, Delray Beach “I am an internationally produced playwright. I have introduced my new plays at Art Garage, including the current production "Gloucester Blue",” wrote Israel Horovitz on the petition to the Commissioners. “Lou Tyrrell has created a theatre that is a safe haven for playwrights, a birthing center for new American writing. Arts Garage has created a vital, enthusiastic audience for theatre, music, painting and sculpture in Delray Beach. Arts Garage is a vibrant arts venue in a vibrant developing city... it's a perfect fit. What a great use of unusual space. What a great resource for Delray Beach! If it's not broken, don't fix it. Let Arts Garage stay home.”
“As a Realtor selling homes and condos in the Delray, Boca, Boynton area I am very often asked what cultural/arts/music venues are available in the area. I always tell my clients that the Arts Garage is a must go-to place! And, of course, I love going there myself,” wrote Joan Lorberbaum Moore of Delray Beach.
“Re-locating Arts Garage would be a tremendous detriment to the cultural growth of Palm Beach County. Even the implication that the Arts Garage is any bit of inconvenient or too costly, would be foolish and short-sighted. The staff at the Arts Garage has maintained a classy, yet modern, multi-purpose facility that is sure to be a landmark in South Florida Arts and Culture, for people all over the country to admire.” Shawn Hagood, Boynton Beach.
“The location of Art Garage itself has made it iconic in a very short time, helping to grow an audience interested in the best of theater and music in a fun and unusual setting. Let it stay where it is, PLEASE!!! Moving it now, just as it has put down roots and established Delray as a location for the best in theater and music in our county is NOT the right move,” Mary Jo Aagerstoun of West Palm Beach.
“Arts Garage has been a driving factor to the growing Downtown Delray Beach beautification process. Arts Garage has always been deeply involved in educating children and adults around our city interested in the preservation and evolution of the city's culture. Let Arts Garage remain!” - Andrew Penn, Delray Beach.
“The Arts Garage is the only venue of its kind. Please, please keep it going. It is unique in all of South Florida!” - Sheila Krichman, Delray Beach.
“Arts Garage is a cultural destination for the tri-county community by providing Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County residents access to a unique arts venue as well as provide economic support and jobs to the Pineapple Grove area.” Jose Jorge Fernandez, Miami.
Arts Garage has put Florida on the map for "fun in the sun arts destination. To move this arts venue that has been at the forefront of developing and sharing all arts forms, would be devastating to Florida " BroadwayGlobal.
For more information on Arts Garage please call 561-450-6357 or visit www.artsgarage.org. Arts Garage is located at 180 NE 1st Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33444.
Arts Garage supporters will meet outside Delray Beach City Hall located at 100 NW 1st Ave Delray Beach, FL 33444 on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. the supporters will gather before the 6:00 p.m. Delray Beach Commissioners meeting
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