Brew House Needs Your Support

Sorry for not posting in about a week…we’ve been a bit preoccupied with more pressing matters…read on. Below is the Brew House Association’s official press release regarding the unfortunate circumstances affecting the artists’ organization this week.  See the links below for ways you can help out this South Side institution.

“PITTSBURGH, PA – September 9, 2009 – On September 4, 2009, The Brew House Association, Inc. (BHA) received a letter from the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Building Inspection (BBI) citing various code violations that force BHA to vacate its building effective September 19, 2009.

The BHA hopes that this is a temporary setback in what has been a long-term rehabilitation project of a home for artists and arts organizations.  “The Board of Directors of the Brew House fully intends to comply with the City and current building codes to create a safe and livable building that can continue serving the City of Pittsburgh for years to come,” stated Tim Kaulen, President of the BHA’s Board of Directors.

The BHA has informed its residents and organizational partners of their need to vacate the building to comply with the City’s request.  “Since I came here almost two years ago, the BHA has invested approximately $175,000 in a new fire suppression system.  We are working every day to complete this system and we hope to have it operational in just a few days,” commented Andi Sharp, Executive Director of the BHA.

The BHA takes the BBI’s letter very seriously and is in the process of correcting every violation set forth in the BBI’s letter. We have enlisted the help of our loyal membership, as well as design professionals and construction and real estate experts to remediate all violations set forth in the BBI’s letter within the applicable timeframe allowed in order to avoid the displacement of the artists and programs that call the Brew House home.

While many of the violations cited by the BBI can be corrected with minimal funding and labor, certain violations will require a substantial investment of approximately $50,000.  As a small 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, the task of raising these funds is challenging, however, the BHA’s Board of Directors is committed to protecting its residents’ and numerous supporters’ investments in the organization and will work tirelessly over the coming months to raise the necessary additional funds.

BHA History

The BHA’s history revolves around its presence in the former Duquesne Brewery complex on Pittsburgh’s South Side.  Since the late 1970’s, the BHA, through a series of owners, has housed numerous artists and programs.  The artists that reclaimed the abandoned “Brew House” building have been able to create an energized space where artists and the community could blend.

The BHA was founded in 1991 and incorporated in 1993 to maintain artists’ continued interest in the Brew House.  The BHA immediately started working with the City of Pittsburgh to correct many building code violations which were present due to the building’s previous, long-standing abandonment, and in 1994 was rewarded with a formal management agreement for continued use of the Brew House.  The BHA completed the purchase of the Brew House in August of 2001.  Since that time, over $700,000 in capital improvements have been made to the Brew House.

By pooling their talents, financial resources, and dedication to a common goal, the members of the BHA have transformed a formerly abandoned brewery into a stimulating and creative environment.  These efforts have resulted in the creation of 25 unique studio and live/work spaces for artists throughout the Brew House.  In 1995 the BHA opened Space 101, an exhibition space devoted to supporting regional artists and events, and in 1997 the BHA opened the IAC Garage, a performance space that is now home to multiple performance groups including Rage of the Stage Players, Phase 3 Productions and the Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra.

The Brew House is home to a number of prominent artists skilled in many disciplines including, glass blowing, metal sculpture, painting, design, photography, performance art and writing.  Programs offered to the community include the Intergenerational Art Workshops (in Partnership with the Allegheny County Library Association), Barely Brunch (a monthly figure drawing workshop), the Academy of the South Side (a traditional fine art oil painting program), the Black Sheep Puppet Festival, Create with Kami (a televised art instruction program) and the Distillery Program (a professional development residency designed to promote the careers of artists in the City of Pittsburgh).”

For information about how you can help the Brew House please email findout@brew-house.org.

Donate to the Brew House…
http://www.proartstickets.org/pages/donate/org:BrewHouse

-jp

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