Art-makers and -lovers incensed by Mayor Muriel Bowser’s nixing of a contemporary-art kunsthalle that was set to take over the long-vacant Franklin School building now have an avenue for potential redress. The Institute for Contemporary Expression, which won a competitive RFP for the space under then-Mayor Vince Gray last year, has released an open letter of support, ready for concerned parties to sign and send to the Wilson Building.
Arts reporters at City Paper and the Washington Post have criticized the Bowser administration’s decision, which was made under the pretense of fundraising concerns. (ICE founder Dani Levinas vehemently disputes that reasoning.)
The form letter, addressed to Bowser, makes the case for why D.C. needs a contemporary-art museum in the middle of downtown. “We remain enthusiastic about your campaign platform, which promised to support a creative economy and pledged funding for arts education in all eight wards of the city,” it reads. “ICE-DC’s mission is in lock step with these priorities and represents a clear avenue through which you can deliver on your promises to the citizens of the District.”
“It has been proven time and time again that the arts are simply invaluable for boosting economic development and fostering creativity, participation, and a sense of community within cities. Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital, should be a leader on this front,” it continues.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with people calling/emailing asking ‘What can I do?'” said ICE spokesperson Kristin Guiter in an email. Here’s what.
Read ICE’s complete letter after the jump.
Rendering from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development