Dear WPA artists and friends,
As we begin to envision what steps to take to combat the ignorance, fear, and hatred that is suddenly so painfully visible in our nation, we are writing to offer up WPA as a place of healing & reflection, gathering, intellectualizing, reading, organizing, staging, making, presenting, and action.
We want you to see our space not as a gallery right now but as a safe haven, especially those of you who identify as people of color, immigrants, LGBQT, and women. We also want you to see it as a vehicle or platform for critical engagement and resistance. And as a place of occasional diversion.
Using it as a safe space means you are free to stop in unannounced at any time to talk with us or hang out. The topic of conversation can be art but it doesn't have to be. There are so many issues on our minds right now. And if you don't feel like talking, you just want a space other than a coffee shop to be alone in -- or with a friend -- that's cool too. There is beer and wine in the fridge, coffee and tea on the counter--help yourself and then make yourself at home.
On the other hand, some of you are already talking about organizing larger convenings--you want to develop lectures, dialogues, or present socially engaged performances. What we can offer you right now is an inviting cultural space with a flexible schedule. We have chairs for up to 30 people, multiple projectors, and video monitors. If you are more in the organizing/workshopping mode, we have walls you can write on, projectors, an extra computer, a printer/scanner, tables, and staff willing to support your activities. The space will be available at no charge, and your activities can be open to the public or closed for a select number of participants. On occasion, we might be able to help you with honoraria for special guest speakers. A few nights ago, we turned the space over to Black Lives Matter DC for an Emotional Emancipation Circle. In the coming weeks, we will turn it over to many others.
We're here for you.
We'll have an open-house next Wednesday night, from 6-8pm for all of you who want to stop in and explore with us how WPA might be a resource to you. We hope to see you there.
Warmly, your allies,
The WPA Staff
November 14, 2016