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Baltimore DIY art space shut down due to safety violations

This crackdown follows the recent Oakland fire tragedy

  • Harrison Williams
  • 6 December 2016

A Baltimore art space dubbed The Bell Foundry has been shut down by authorities due to a list of safety violations, leaving a collective of artist residents evicted.

Complaints regarding The Bell Foundry’s conditions led to Baltimore authorities investigating the property where they found “numerous safety violations as well as deplorable conditions,” said Roman Clark, a spokesperson for the fire department, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Tenants who occupied the art space were living without an occupancy permit and, as such, were told to immediately evacuate the building without their possessions, a sight that was described by one resident as "a spectacle”.

Although this eviction was done in order to keep people safe, some locals, including Ava Pipitone, viewed it as an attack on a cultural haven.

"How quickly a safe space for queer [and] trans identities and other marginalized identities was devalued by the city is incredibly disturbing to me as a trans woman. On a very flimsy argument, it was erased and devalued with no notice."

The Bell Foundry housed dozens of local artists who also used the building for artist work spaces, galleries and studios. A gofundme campaign has been set up to support them during this transition, donate here.

The recent move in Baltimore follows the warehouse tragedy in Oakland that occurred at the weekend, leaving occupants trapped. 36 people lost their lives and authorities are still searching the wreckage.

Harrison is Mixmag's East Coast Editor. Follow him on Twitter here

[via: Baltimore Sun]

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