“Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.”
― Chuck Klosterman
Wednesday, March 10, ātac (Amazing Things Arts Center) made the tough call to cancel upcoming events in light of the current state of emergency regarding COVID-19, choosing to lead an effort to protect the most vulnerable among us. This decision is not without consequences for the future of the organization. I will cut right to the chase: ātac is facing an immediate and permanent closure if we are unable to cover the loss of revenue from canceled shows and rentals.
There is never a good time for an emergency, but this timing is especially heartbreaking. We were just preparing to reach out to our members and donors with details about ātac’s bright future to ask for your support in making our plans a reality.
Those of you who have been in the venue recently have enjoyed the visible changes like new flexible seating arrangements, fantastic lighting, and great sound. We have revamped the membership program creating new levels for artists and those on a restricted income. We are about to renovate one of the rooms in our Gallery160 to be used as a gathering space for artists, community groups, and (my personal hope) youth looking for an inspiring place to get creative.
We have also been working on changes that can’t be seen. We’ve been developing new partnerships within the community, working to bring theater and film back into the venue, reinstating the beloved folk open mic, expanding ways for the community to use our Firehouse home, and creating new revenue sources. The board and staff are working on a development plan that will allow us to adequately fund programs, staffing, and prepare for emergencies like the one we are facing today.
A week ago, we needed $43,000 by June, and we were more than halfway there. We were in the process of preparing a capacity-building matching campaign to put us firmly in our next chapter. However, the immediate loss of income because of the COVID-19 situation has doubled what our organization needs overnight. The prospect of having to cancel the rest of our program season creates a crisis we simply cannot survive. We are moving toward being in a more viable position, but our initiatives won’t create revenue immediately.
A donor has pledged $20,000, but we need to raise an additional $70,000 by April to secure this generous gift and reach our $90,000 goal. This will allow us to continue bringing you live music, art exhibitions, and events that create our community!
We stand on the brink of being able to bring even more vibrant and vital arts to the MetroWest region. I love this organization, the artists and patrons we serve and believe we have an important role to play in the creative future of Framingham.
The ātac community is thankful for the artists and arts lovers that have sustained us and hope YOU can see yourself in this new picture as we rally to keep the arts alive and well in MetroWest!
It will take a village—our village—and together, we can do this!
With sincere and deepest gratitude for contributions of any amount,