A tip of my cynical hat to the ingenious marketing team that came up with this publicity stunt. Censoring an artwork because of racial issues would certainly be a creative if not distasteful way to generate buzz before the grand opening of an art museum in the epicenter of conservative America. Though I must admit, I think censoring an artwork that could be considered homosexual would have been a more effective strategy in a county that cut off public art funding because of homophobic hysteria. http://www.nytimes.com/1993/08/29/us/count…
I have lived and worked at the Goat Farm Arts Center since the beginning some 3 years ago. I have an insiders view of how the goat farm operates. So yes, I am gratefully biased. But let me try to clear up your hazy understanding of our operation and maybe we can be friendly neighbors one day.
We do not operate a bar. We operate an arts center. The bar you speak of is actually a community engagement and outreach center called The Warhorse. It is a place for tenants, artists, and arts organizations to gather and exchange ideas. We do serve drinks, mostly coffee, on a donation basis. We do not and never have sold food. We don't make money from The Warhorse, we only aim to break-even.
We operate an Arts Center. We rent studios and curate art events. So far this year we have held over 70 art based events. That does not include the numerous photo and film shoots, the monthly meetings of arts organizations, nor the education programs we offer.
Our event programming brings a lot of people to the westside. Some of our patrons rarely come to our side of town otherwise. Some of these people are patrons of your establishment. Others are patrons of the goat farm. We understand that some of your patrons visit the goat farm and vice versa. I guess that's how the westside, and all sides, work.
Our bread and butter is studio rental. You may think it's overpriced, but the 350 tenants here do not. You may think it's unsafe, but I don't know of a single tenant who has been injured by the property being in the condition it's in. As a tenant, I thoroughly enjoy the goat farm, it's community, the events, the green space and the relative freedom to do as I please. In my experience, the landlords are fair, honest, and generous.
We are not a threat to children as you insinuate. We have a good relationship with the Howard School and often host their students for arts and science related activities. We actually have an organization that pairs artists with at risk youth in a mentorship program. We host children's theater and many of our tenants are mothers and fathers. You sir, are the only child who seems to have a problem with us.
We don't serve alcohol to minors. When we have a bar set-up at an event, we staff if with well trained, good people just like staff. In fact, our bar staff comes from the service industry. We actually have security at most events including an APD police officer to keep everyone safe.
The Goat Farm does not and never will make money from the sale of alcohol. All revenue from event bars are split between the bartenders and the art organization who held the event. This money helps them pay for things like security, restrooms, parking attendants, etc.
We understand that arts organizations, galleries and your establishment are struggling. All we can do is support those organizations and galleries by supporting the arts. Our way of doing this is donating venue space, marketing, sound, lighting, logistics, etc. to artists and organizations as well as offering studio rental to artists. We throw events and house artists. Are we really that evil?
Your next door neighbor,
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