An artist's studio in the Union Arts Building at 411 New York Ave
The Washington City Paper is covering the latest developments at 411 New York Avenue, and how some of the artists based in the building are pushing back against the developers and asking others to join them at a hearing tonight at 6:30pm.
I've written before (lots of good background in that post) about the plans to transform the Union Arts Building at 411 New York Ave from what is a building primarily given over to arts uses, to a boutique hotel with eight (shared) artist work studios offered at below rate. I'm not exactly sure how many artists currently use the building, but it's a lot more than could reasonably share eight studios (a Union Arts representative quoted in the City Paper put the number at between 70 and 100).
To my knowledge there are currently three groups that are based in the building. Here's a brief explanation that I posted last fall: Nomad Yard Collectiv, Union Arts DC, and Mousai House. Nomad Yard Collectiv is a collective shop that sells antiques, vintage items, and work by independent designers and indie artists. Union Arts DC is a group made up of resident artists who "use the space for teaching, rehearsing, and creating work springing from their own original visions." Union Arts DC provides "studio and rehearsal space for painters, musicians, photographers, filmmakers and designers. It also "hosts concerts, classes, exhibitions and a wide range of other events." Mousai House is a "service based company providing education, management, and production artists need to realize their potential." They seek to "provide a secure space for the community to cultivate their creativity thru art and music." They have regular jam sessions, teach free music lessons to community members, and provide artists with access to studio equipment.
The front of 411 New York Ave
I first learned details about the project at a November ANC 5D meeting (the one with dueling agendas). ANC 5D voted on the project, but there was so much drama at the meeting that I don't think we really got to did very deeply into the details of the project.
Back in November Nomad Yard Collectiv, a tenant of 411 New York Ave, held a "Discussion on Space," which I attended the first portion of. That was basically a big group discussion about arts spaces, their relationship with the community, the importance of securing space, and how to go about doing that. I hadn't heard a whole lot of chatter about this recently, and that's unfortunate because I'm not sure there's a high level of awareness of what's happening regarding the displacement of these tenants and where they will go. The case number is 15-19 for those who want to look it up in IZIS.