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Faye Anderson's Letter to Orphans' Court Judge Matthew Carrafiello

The Painted Bride Art Center, the oldest alternative art space in Philadelphia, is seeking court approval to sell its land and property to a developer who plans to demolish the building and destroy Isaiah Zagar's iconic "Skin of the Bride" mosaic murals. In a letter to Judge Matthew Carrafiello. I urge him to reject the petition.

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Faye Anderson's Letter to Orphans' Court Judge Matthew Carrafiello

  1. 1. September 16, 2019 Honorable Matthew D. Carrafiello Administrative Judge Orphans’ Court Division Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia City Hall, Room 519 Philadelphia, PA 19107 Re: Painted Bride Art Center, Inc., Control No. 192338 Dear Judge Carrafiello: I am writing in opposition to the petition by Painted Bride Art Center, Inc. for permission to sell the land and building located at 230 Vine Street to Groom Investments LLC. Home to an internationally-recognized arts and culture organization, 230 Vine Street is also one of the few extant buildings associated with Philadelphia’s jazz heyday. According to building permits filed with the city, the developer intends to demolish the building and destroy Isaiah Zagar’s “Skin of the Bride” mosaic murals. In their place, Atrium Design Group plans to construct 16 soulless, tax-abated condos. The executive director of the Bride says it is “more than a place.” However for nearly 30 years, the place and the “Skin of the Bride” have had a symbiotic relationship. The iconic murals are site-specific and institutionally-defining. The inseparability of the artwork from the Bride’s mission is evidenced on the organization’s website. Since relocating to 230 Vine Street, the Bride has received millions of dollars in government grants, and donations from foundations, corporations and individual donors to sustain its programming, and performance and exhibition spaces. By the Bride’s own admission, the board of
  2. 2. directors did not update the organization’s business model “to meet the needs of a transforming world and evolving audience.” The board of directors’ nonfeasance has put at risk the organization’s mission and the “Skin of the Bride,” an artwork that is arguably protected by the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990. The Bride should not be allowed to cavalierly abandon the substantial investment of taxpayers’ dollars and charitable donations because a rich suitor came a-calling. The demolition of 230 Vine Street is prima facie evidence the board of directors has not been a good steward of charitable assets. Common sense dictates current board members cannot be part of the problem and the solution. Accordingly, I urge the Court to deny the Painted Bride Art Center’s petition to approve the sale of 230 Vine Street. I further urge the Court to appoint an interim board of directors who will preserve the charitable assets of the not-for-profit corporation and continue the mission of providing an artist-centered performance space and art gallery. Respectfully submitted, Faye M. Anderson Faye M. Anderson Director All That Philly Jazz Member, Proposed Interim Board of Directors (267) 282-1342 Email: