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By Bill Oakey – November 20, 2017
The highly acclaimed East Austin Studio Tour (EAST) got a nasty jolt this past weekend when the large group of artists at the Pump Project were greeted with devastating news. They may have to pack up and leave their coveted studios by sometime in April. A sale of the property is in the works. This comes on the heels of a very expensive remodeling of the facility just a couple of years ago.
This is an opportunity for the City and local business leaders to come together quickly and find a solution, before it’s too late. Does the City have any tools available that can be put into action soon enough to help? Fortunately, I have several affordability meetings, starting tomorrow with the Mayor’s Office and several other Council members. I will be asking that question. One thing I plan to suggest is that they utilize their business contacts to see if a philanthropic art supporter or group could step forward and help. I would also hope that they would reach out to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. The worst-case scenario would be a domino effect that would threaten the survival of the EAST festival.
Below is the front page notice on the Pump Project’s website:
Pump No More
DONATE TO OUR RELOCATION FUND
For over a decade, Pump Project Art Complex has been proud to call the bright yellow warehouse on Shady Lane home. This big, old building has been our place for community and creativity for 12 years.
Our plan was to raise money for the needed CODE improvements – but the landlord has now decided against renewing our lease.
While we are still seeking a way in which we might be able to stay in our iconic big bright yellow building, it’s a longshot, so we have decided to refocus our efforts on relocating.
Over the next few months, we will be looking for a new home – we are asking all those who support the artist community here in Austin to donate whatever you can to help Pump Project in this effort.
WHO WE ARE
We are a group of over 40 artists and craftspeople who call Pump Project Art Complex home. Pump Project Art Complex is a 501(c)3 non-profit, East Austin art space that provides working studios and gallery facilities to emerging and established artists.
Our story began in in 2005 as Shady Tree Studios with a few artists, an old empty warehouse, and a substantial amount of initiative. In the past twelve years Pump Project has become a staple of the Austin art community. We serve the community with year-round art exhibition programming in our 1,000 sq. ft. gallery space. We are also a major stop on the East Austin Studio Tour each year, a testament to the great work of our members and the encouraging culture that Austin has for its artists.
Over the last 12 years, we have provided exhibition facilities and affordable studio space for hundreds of artists in the Austin community, and we are very proud of the work we have done. Your donation, in any amount, will help us in our efforts to relocate and to keep our community going.
Musical Accompaniment for This Blog Piece:
- “The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane” – The Ames Brothers, or the Archie Bleyer version
- “(I’ll Be There) Before the Next Teardrop Falls” – Freddy Fender
- “Help” – The Beatles
- “Pictures and Paintings” – Charlie Rich
- “Just In Time” – Frank Sinatra
- “Wrecking Ball” – Emmylou Harris
- “25 Minutes to Go” – Johnny Cash (In honor of Threadgill’s on Riverside for getting a stay of execution from their landlord)