COVID STOPPED US IN OUR TRACKS! PLEASE HELP US SURVIVE UNTIL REOPENING!
GATEWAY CITY ARTS IS FORCED TO GO IN TO HIBERNATION-
OUR STORY NOW-
After 9 years of creating and developing GCA, we have no choice but to close our doors for now.
Unfortunately, we will be out of our PPP money in a couple weeks and our entire business depends on having gatherings. We are down to a minimal staff. In order to survive we have been doing delicious take out food since March but that cannot sustain us. In order for us to maintain the building and business requirements, we are still facing expenses of about $11,000/month. We have to keep a couple of staff, insurance, utilities, licenses, etc.- we are cutting everywhere we can. Monthly expenses are high because we aren’t just a restaurant or just a music/event venue, but both. Therefore, our costs are high to cover the basic expenses of the unique nature of GCA. We will not reopen until it is clearly safe to do so. We will not jeopardize the health of our staff or our community. Opening part way is not financially viable.
So we are asking for your help. Our goal is $70,000 to remain viable for 6-7 months. Our hope is by then it will be safe and the world will be in a much better place. Our plan is to reopen bigger and busier than ever. We are asking for help from our community and those from afar that support independent venues.
OUR STORY ‘TIL NOW-
Gateway City Arts, in downtown Holyoke, MA., began 9 years ago when my partner, a professional art restorer and artist, needed a new studio space. After a long search for affordable space we fell in love with a mill building in Holyoke. We have a beautiful building with a total of 40,000 square foot in a diverse and challenged city in Western MA. The city has a rich history and amazing potential. We decided to buy the building and create a community, art and cultural center. We put our hearts, time, sweat, money and tears into creating this multi-functional venue. We had to totally redo the building to bring it up to code. Our opening helped bring other new businesses to the area, thus greatly contributing to the beginning of the revitalization of the downtown. What began as a small art venue for studios and classes has morphed into a restaurant with food and alcohol, event spaces, live theater, and a world class music venue for local, national and internationally touring bands. GCA is a destination and brings thousands of people to the area annually.
Vitek, my partner, comes from the Czech Republic and his training is in restoring castles, cathedrals, buildings and creating/restoring fine art. My background is totally different- I am a Physical Therapist by training and discovered art as an adult. What does this have to do with anything? Our interests and values intersect around people- our desire to be in community, our interest in justice, learning, creating and inspiring. We began building Gateway (GCA) by doing most of the construction ourselves and it slowly evolved into a complex, multifaceted business with almost 40 employees and volunteers at one point. They are local, dedicated and believe in our vision. We worked hard at creating a professional environment in whatever we offer and welcome everyone to our facility. We grew from small concerts to sell out crowds of 500 people with national touring bands. GCA is home to a terrific puppeteer company, an alternative theater group, artists, craftsmen, and people from start-up to career professionals in various fields of art, design and performing arts. And we have events from corporate meetings and retreats to weddings!
YOUR HELP WILL KEEP THIS VITAL VENUE AVAILABLE TO THE COMMUNITY OF ARTISTS, THE CITY OF HOLYOKE AND THE PIONEER VALLEY. WE DON’T KNOW HOW ELSE TO KEEP GOING DURING THIS TIME.
PLEASE HELP WITH ANY SIZE DONATION — It is more than welcome and extremely appreciated.
THANKS FOR LISTENING-
Lori and Vitek