"We're not trying to put each other in danger. We are trying to save each other's lives."
- Oakland-based musician Kimya Dawson, as quoted in The Village Voice
This is a sad week for those in the arts community as we mourn the loss of life at Ghost Ship, the artists’ space in Oakland California. Artists are resourceful and creative, but often make great things happen with very little resources and never pay themselves first. As a result, they move into and populate, energize, and revive buildings and communities, sometimes under the most challenging of circumstances. They also engender a sense of belonging and unity that foster community, purpose and safety of a social kind.
In Baltimore, our hearts are also saddened by the loss of a vibrant and important artistic hub. The Bell Foundry building was shut down by the Fire Department suddenly yesterday due to code violations. The building was home to live-work spaces, the Baltimore Rock Opera Society, and a vibrant underground music scene, which served as a safe space for artists of color and the LGBTQ community. Friends and advocates are hard at work supporting those who have become homeless, either literally or in their artistic practice. GBCA is committed to working with our partners including Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and Station North Arts and Entertainment District, and the city to determine measures necessary to ensure the safety of those tenants who do want to return, assist those with short term needs, and encourage dialogue with our peers that will proactively address safety issues within other such spaces.
Click here to support Bell Foundry evictees on GoFundMe.