Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Demise of the 3Arts Club

Both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Reader
featured stories this month about the conversion of the historic
Three Arts Club
from a women artists residence into an
arts grant organization

The Palette and Chisel
will remember its elegant neighbor fondly
as the source for so many
artist models

(like April, the dramaturg,
who served there as a kind of resident manager
and later moved West to a career
in the film industry)

For a while,
residents, upset about their eviction,
met in the Palette and Chisel library
to strategize their attempt
to return the organization to
its original mission.

But now it seems
their hopes have been dashed
as the building has been sold to developers
who will transform the historic building into
a luxury private club for the glitterati.

As someone commented in the Reader:

"Time and again I have seen not-for-profit cultural, educational, charitable institutions etc. ruined because the board of directors gets to choose the board of directors in perpetuity and cliques emerge and take control with their own personal agenda."

And that is ultimately the story
of every cultural organization in America,
(including the Art Institute of Chicago )

except, of course,

for the Palette and Chisel
where the board is still elected by the
community it serves.


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