Art Center Needs Community’s Help To RevampDuring the 13 years that nonprofit community center The ARTS at Marks Garage has been in Chinatown, it has hosted hundreds of art exhibits and thousands of workshops and public events. All of this has attracted about 390,000 visitors.
Whether it was for First Friday or a slam poetry night, chances are that something has lured you into the gallery at some point.
But with all of those successes and all of those guests, the facility itself has been starting to see signs of wear and tear.
“Everything here is over 13 years old,” says executive director Rich Richardson. “So I think to make people feel proud of their community arts center, we have to make some repairs and we have to jazz it up a little bit.”
The center hopes to update its theater space, including the furnishings and electrical and lighting systems. It also hopes to revamp its office space by redesigning the cubicles.
In order to make these upgrades, ARTS at Marks needs the community’s help. They’re calling it the “reMarksable” campaign — and they have a goal to raise $23,000 by Nov. 4 via crowd-funding site Indiegogo. (As of press time, they have raised $4,395 with 26 days left.)
“We need to make these repairs,” Richardson says, “so we are asking for support while we make these upgrades.”
As Richardson sees it, what sets ARTS apart is the fact that it operates as a twoway street between the center and the people whom it serves.
“ARTS at Marks is very, very rare. We’re kind of a sanctuary, I think, for the arts — and for hands-on participation in the arts. You could see a show here. But you could also have a show here.”
What Richardson seems to like most about ARTS is that it is a place where people connect.
“It’s not a solo activity where, ‘I’m an artist, I am starving, I am in my room alone until 4 a.m. every night, crying and painting.’ It’s people doing stuff together,” he says. “I like the camaraderie that is created here.
“It is a place where you are getting your hands dirty and making it happen yourself,” he adds. “Watching a video of Pina Bausch is a lesser experience than putting on your own dance experience, no matter how badly you dance.”
For more information about the re-Marksable campaign and to contribute, visit indiegogo.com/projects/remarksable. Each level of donation will get you a different perk — including T-shirts and dinner at Grondin — and if you donate $20,000, you can name the whole theater after yourself.
For more on The ARTS at Marks Garage, visit artsatmarks.com.