Frequently Asked Questions
The title of this post is misleading — we’ll try not to wait for a question to rise to the level of “frequently asked” to answer it.
Question: Who started oc2sas?
Answer: A varied group of students at the Art School. We’ve been hearing lots of talk about the upcoming “renovations” — in our classes, outside of our classes, in the bathroom(!) and on the elevator. We weren’t getting many concrete answers about what is going on from teachers or the folks who work in the office, so we decided to try and do something to get the word out to more people so we can do something before it is too late. By the way, we define “too late” as the architects have finished their plans, the work is starting, EA’s “Powers That Be” will be unable (or claim they are unable) to turn back from their plan to move the art school to a much smaller and darker space on the “ground floor” and eliminate the darkroom and welding studio.
Question: Why are you against the renovations? Isn’t the School in need of renovations?
Answer: Sure the Art School (and the whole building) is in need of renovation. We think it’s GREAT that renovations are going to happen. BUT we don’t think the final product of the renovations is great — moving the Art School to a much smaller and darker space on the “ground floor” and eliminating the darkroom and welding studio. We think that’s a bad idea. We’re not looking to stop renovations. Rather we’re looking to renovate the renovation plans.
Question: Why are you against the new gym (aka “Health and Wellness Center”)?
Answer: We’re not. Nor are we “against” more programming for young children, or seniors, or a greener building, or any of the other things about the renovations that sound exciting and valuable for the Lower East Side community and beyond. We just don’t believe that any of those exciting and valuable things should (or need to) happen at the expense of the Art School, which we think should continue AS IS as the vital resourse it is to the Lower East Side community and beyond.
Question: I got an email/letter from you. How did you get my contact information?
Answer: Well, some word of mouth but mostly Google is downright AMAZING! By the way, we hope you’ll stay on our mailing list (and if you’re not on it, we hope you’ll join it — email us at firstname.lastname@example.org). We anticipate sending out updates at about a rate of once every one or two weeks. BUT if you don’t want to get any e/mails from us, it’s pretty simple. Send us an email and ask us to remove your name from the list. We’ll send you one last email to confirm we are taking you off our list and then, VOILA(!) no more emails from us! We think the future of the Art School is pretty important but we have no interest in sending information to people who are annoyed by getting it.
Question: When exactly is the School closing for renovations?
Answer: We’re not certain. To the best of our knowledge the plan now is that Fall, 2011 will be the last semester until renovations are complete (prediction is renovations will take two years). Anybody who lives on the Upper East Side knows that multiple generations of people in that neighborhood have been anticipating a Second Avenue subway so who really knows for sure when work will start here. But since the important issue to us isn’t stopping renovations per se, it’s just making sure they are done properly and not used as some excuse to move the Art School to a space that is vastly inferior to its current one while cutting valued programs like photography and welding, the timeline isn’t so important. Just in case renovations start on time (and we genuinely hope they do), we want to make sure that there are “good” renovation plans in place.
Question: What will happen to the Art School during the years of renovation?
Answer: We don’t know. Recently we’ve heard rumors that the Art School would like to relocate during the renovations which would be a great alternative to shutting down for two years. From what we understand there are no definite plans yet (we imagine finding an affordable space is quite difficult these days). We’d surely like to be part of a solution for this problem so we put this challenge out to all of you: Do YOU have any suggestions for a temporary space for the art school? Let us know (and let the Art School office folks know too — we’re sure they have a lot on their plates right about now and probably would appreciate any leads).