From the press-release pile: "We only have until the end of the month to organize affairs with our facility and we are trimming down to a good fighting weight as we look to the future... ConWorks Garage Sale, Saturday and Sunday, 10 am–4 pm."
Overheard in a theater: "Oh, man. A garage sale? I think they still have some of our equipment—maybe some lights. I've got to get over there before they sell anything."
Question for ConWorks board member Eric Prager: Was the board aware that they would announce termination of their lease with Vulcan and begin liquidating assets when they hosted a fundraising donor dinner just 27 days earlier? "No."
From Noel Franklin, a nonprofit manager recently contracted by ConWorks as a strategic planner: "If they even had a suspicion they would not renew their lease with Vulcan and cancel programming, they should have been up front about it. If the ConWorks board had been honest about the crossroads they stood at, and invited the community's support, you would be writing a very different story."
Another question for Prager: Does ConWorks currently have more debts than assets? "We do not think so."
From the mailbag: "I've never seen a paper that is supposed to be concerned with art in Seattle revel SO much in an important art venue losing its space... Could you at least TRY and hide your joy?"
Overheard at a party: "The building needs seismic retrofitting? Give me a break. Can you think of one business entity besides Vulcan that could negotiate its way out of that? Maybe Vulcan got sick of ConWorks."
From ConWorks Artistic Director Corey Pearlstein: "Up until three weeks ago, we had the collective impression we'd be staying in the building—but we've been changing the tires on a moving car from the day I got here."
From Malory Graham of Reel Grrls, an after-school program that teaches audio, video, and web production to school-age girls, and rents office space in the ConWorks building: "The 30-day notice put all the tenants in a last-minute lurch. It's sad that this incredible arts space will sit empty, and probably become condos, because of zoning restrictions—that there couldn't be any negotiations with the city and Vulcan to keep it open."
From a reader commenting on Slog: "They should have the guts to just close it and not pretend that it has any future. Everybody knows that the thing is dead. Let it die with dignity."
From Pearlstein: "Should ConWorks be a postdisciplinary space instead of this multipronged thing? Should ConWorks live conceptually online? Should we have a dedicated space? Should we say: God bless it, it's been incredible, it's done? I want to have this conversation organically—I'm not the keeper of the dialogue. Maybe this is a chance for us to position ourselves looking more to the future."