Artists and art lovers in Delray Beach are waiting with bated breath for the Delray Beach City Commission's decision on what will happen to the space currently occupied by Arts Garage.
The "multi-disciplinary cultural hub" resides in a highly desirable piece of Pineapple Grove Arts District real estate at the corner of Northeast First Street and Northeast Second Avenue. City commissioners are expected to vote this month on two bids for the building. One is being offered by Creative City Collaborative (the nonprofit that operates Arts Garage) and the other is from the personal injury law firm Kanner & Pintaluga.
Each bid is for $2.5 million and "if the city chooses the bid from the law firm, the Arts Garage would be moved to the Arts Warehouse on Northeast Third Avenue, several blocks farther away from Old School Square and Atlantic Avenue nightlife," according to SouthFlorida.com.
A call to the city commission office on Thursday morning confirmed that the special meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday (the city's website lists that evening's event as a City Commission Workshop). An employee said that the meeting is open to the public and background/supportive materials on the two offers should be available online at the city's website after 6 p.m. Friday.
Arts Garage/Creative City Collaborative is seeking public support by way of a petition on Change.org titled "Keep Arts Garage in its current location." The petition states:
One offer proposes to use this location as office space and another will guarantee our stay here for the next 10 years with an option to buy. Please ask the Delray Beach Commissioners to choose the offer that will make this our permanent home.
As of 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, the petition had more than 1,180 signatures, just about 300 shy of its goal of 1,500.
Broward-Palm Beach New Times spoke with Arts Garage executive director Alyona Ushe, who said losing its space would be a major upheaval for the arts community and the city at large. "Moving the venue would be devastating to our success and to the further development of arts and culture of Delray Beach," Ushe told New Times. "We bring thousands of people a month to Delray."
Offerings this month at Arts Garage include the Israel Horovitz play "Gloucester Blue," a jazz performance, a student musical production, and live blues. Arts Garage launched roughly a year and a half ago.