Robert Lalasz’s article “The Immoderate Center” (Show & Tell, 4/2) suggests that the most recent—and perhaps final—maneuver in the long legal battle waged on the Millennium Arts Center (MAC) is a coup d’état by the “big” players: Bill Wooby, the D.C. government, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. According to Lalasz, the artists and nonprofit organizations that call MAC home could be, literally, left out in the cold if this deal moves forward under its current terms.
One of these organizations is Art Enables. Art Enables serves adult artists with mental and developmental disabilities by providing them with studio space, guidance, materials, and the opportunity to show and sell their work. The program is one of the most highly regarded alternatives in day programming for persons with developmental disabilities in the Washington, D.C., area.
Should the door to Art Enables be locked, it would mean that services to all the program participants would be terminated until the organization could secure new operating space.
Immoderate, indeed. A deal that purports to bring a new beginning for the Randall School building, and for arts and arts education in D.C., should not be buttressed on the ouster of Art Enables and the other artists and arts organizations at MAC. Because all of the parties—Wooby, the D.C. government, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art—are committed to ensuring that D.C. is a hospitable place for the arts, we hope the final agreement about the future of the MAC will provide appropriate guarantees that will allow the professional artists but also Art Enables, Hungry for Music, Life Pieces to Masterpieces, and the other nonprofit arts-service organizations housed in MAC to continue to consider D.C. a welcoming home.
Chair, Board of Director