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This article was published 20/10/2017 (725 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It’s with heavy hearts that Art City staff have had to cut essential community programming after a promised $50,000 has not come through.
The West Broadway organization is now crowdfunding in an effort to maintain the programs and positions still intact, and hopefully bring back the community programs, which were put on hold indefinitely.
Artistic director Eddie Ayoub said that both cutting programs and turning to the community for financial support are firsts for the organization, but that they had no other option.
"We had to do this," Ayoub said. "We were moving ahead cautiously with assurance. Summer comes and goes and we’re still being promised, but there’s nothing… We were strung along."
Ayoub declined to name the funding body, concerned that if he does, they may lose the funding altogether. The donation page at artciyinc.com showed over $23,000 out of the $50,000 at press time, raised in about a week, and Ayoub says it’s a reflection of how important Art City is not only to the participants but to the community at large.
"I can see who’s giving and it’s clear that people are making sacrifices. These aren’t people with tons of money, it’s people in our community, our own staff. We’ve had staff that were ready to start volunteering. That’s their hearts talking. It’s not sustainable, everyone’s gotta pay rent."
Ayoub says that the first thing that was cut was the big Halloween fundraiser they host annually. Next they cancelled dates with a few visiting artists. Finally, they had to look at programming and specifically the community programs, which offers art programming through partnering organization that do other things in the community besides art.
"There was one kid that said, ‘Everyone say goodbye to your favourite place on Earth,’ and that about sums it up," he said. "That’s the level of loss. Part of Art City is being super reliable, so in the lives of the kids we serve, there’s a lot of uncertainty and a lot of things they aren’t in control of… and we don’t want to be an unpredictable element in their lives.
"We want to be rock steady."
For more information or to donate, visit artcityinc.com
Community journalist — The Metro
Alana Trachenko is the community journalist for The Metro Email her at alana.trachenko@canstarnewscom Call her at 204-697-7132