After two and a half years, we have to put the residency program on hold indefinitely. We are extremely grateful for the support we’ve received and opportunities to work with extremely talented, engaged, and open-hearted artists. We set out to prove that an artist residency can be done at the grassroots level, and we feel that we’ve succeeded. We hope that others will be emboldened and encouraged to start their own programs.
The most compelling reason for us to regroup and reconsider is the prominence of white-owned and -led spaces in Columbus (and most cities). At the beginning, we didn’t want to be “the faces of Cart Pushers,” but it was inevitable that we would be — especially in fundraising. We strongly believe that the best way for us to support people of color in the Columbus arts community is to support spaces directly managed by them. It was time for us to get out of the way.
In this moment, however, finances made the final decision for us. The small size of our budget has made it very difficult to secure funding for studio space. We’ve done some fundraising, but most of the cost of maintaining the program has come from our pockets. We are in the process of vacating our spaces at the Millworks building now.
Our gofundme page will remain active until we can pay the remainder of our back rent. We appreciate any small amount you can chip in. We’re leaving the Cart Pushers Facebook page open pending any new directions we find for service to the community.
Thank you so much for sharing this experience with us, with a special thanks to the artists who have come through the program. Your work, your ideas, and your stories have enriched our lives in a way that is immeasurable and priceless.