This is one of those blog posts that no one really wants to write. It's one of those that fall along the lines of writing about the death of a favorite musician/artist, the closing of a frequented restaurant, and/or the last book of a series that made your hands tingle with the turn of every page. OK, so I might be being a little dramatic, but the announcement that The Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film is "suspending operations" is some news that makes my heart sink a little.
The Light Factory, located in Uptown's Spirit Square, has offered us edgy and culturally relevant photography exhibits, films and hands-on classes during its 41-year-existence. The organization's website states that the decision comes after ongoing declines in funding over the past three years. Jeff Wise, a board chairman for The Light Factory, stated, "We have been going through a strategic planning process to determine the best operating model for the organization, but the reality is that we just didn't have the cash flow necessary to keep the operations going while we evaluate our options and determine a viable, sustainable solution."
So, in other words, members of the organization are seeking a "new operating model." That means this really might not be the end. Unfortunately, we've learned to live by that damned and depressing saying of "Hope for the best. Plan for the worst. Expect nothing" - and so that's exactly what we're doing for the time being.
CL photographer Meredith Jones, who formerly taught photography classes at The Light Factory, comments on the closing: "There's definitely a need in the community for their programs, especially their outreach programs for the youth, but at the same time it might be beneficial to take a step back, regroup and begin to function in a way that is more sustainable.
Until we hear otherwise, let's appreciate what galleries/museums are still open in the Charlotte (get out there and show some support, dammit!). We'll keep you posted on any updates and news related to The Light Factory as it comes our way.
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