Before I moved to my current spacious, if somewhat marginal, studio, I was creating my work at the Brew House on Pittsburgh's Southside. I was a member for five years. Hmm. Maybe six years. It was a small studio, but it was the first time that I had ever had a studio outside of a spare bedroom. I met some wonderful people there and I still keep in touch with my Barely Brunch partners.
Over the past two weeks, there have been a lot of rumors about the imminent demise of the organization and the disbandment of the artists that reside and work there.
The Brew House organization has been quiet, at least until just now --
On September 4, 2009, The Brew House Association, Inc. (BHA) received a letter from the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Building Inspection (BBI) citing various code violations that force BHA to vacate its building effective September 19, 2009.
The BHA hopes that this is a temporary setback in what has been a long-term rehabilitation project of a home for artists and arts organizations. “The Board of Directors of the Brew House fully intends to comply with the City and current building codes to create a safe and livable building that can continue serving the City of Pittsburgh for years to come,” states Tim Kaulen, President of the BHA's Board of Directors. From the Brew House site.
To be frank, the building is in horrendous shape. The organization's statement declares that $50k is needed to address the remaining code violations. Maybe. It needs a lot more to make it habitable instead of just a squat. But listen, the artists currently in residence will be completely unhomed without some intervention. I think it's going to take a concerted effort to save this behemoth. Not just what can be raised through individual donations, although that would definitely help. I don't know what the solution will be for this organization or for the property that they are trying to maintain. But if somebody out there has some ideas, maybe you can pass them on to the Executive Director, Andie Sharp. You can reach her at email@example.com.