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Thursday, March 07, 2013

ROTA On The Ropes


ROTA Vice President Matt Hall (right, burgundy shirt) coordinates a meeting to discuss how to deal with the not-for-profit cooperative's budget shortfall.


PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013

Contrast: warm discussion – cool room.  I put my fleece jacket back on.

When struggling each month to pay the rent the thermostat has to be set lower.

Folding chairs in a circle.  Staff, members, and supporters of ROTA Gallery gather this evening to discuss how to raise more funds.

Before the meeting ROTA Vice President Matt Hall urged supporters through Facebook to attend and help address the non-profit co-op's ongoing budget problem.  In his post he stated:

"I can't speak for all of the organizers, but I personally feel like Plattsburgh needs an independent arts space, a space where kids can have music shows, where anyone can show their art, where we can share skills and ideas and culture. A space that is free of judgement and pretentiousness, free of drugs and alcohol, a safe space for people of all backgrounds."

During the meeting he mentioned that moving to the new location at 50 Margaret Street meant a doubling of the rent.

Funds raised through donations for events like art exhibits and music events are falling short of the monthly budget for ROTA.

Someone suggested that one way to raise funds was to finish renovating the basement area, turning it into a recording studio.  But that project has to be kept on hold until basic finances are under control, allowing ROTA to expand its services.

The basement has been used for music events.  During the winter months the main floor can be cool but the lower level is like a meat locker.  ROTA is doing the best it can with what it has.

The meeting saw a mix of young and old supporters.  Despite the impression that some may have, ROTA isn't just a kids concern.  Adults are also involved.

In attendance was Dr. Laura Carbone, MD, who works at CVPH Medical Center, practicing in Internal Medicine and Nephrology.  One of her outside interests is photography, particularly music events.  I met her one time at a ROTA concert; she told me then that she enjoyed the energy of young performers.

At the meeting she said that it was important to have a place like ROTA where young artists and musicians can create and play.  How important?  She gave a $200 check to help the not-for-profit arts co-op meet its rent this month and also pledged $100 a month, becoming ROTA's first supporting member.

If more supporters like Laura come through, the ROTA can expand its offerings – and say goodbye to meat locker concerts.

*  *  *

More info about ROTA: https://www.facebook.com/rotagallery or email rotagallery@gmail.com .

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