The protest planned on Monday by Washington artists against the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corp. turned into something more like a lovefest. Media representatives planning to cover the protest meeting were asked not to attend, and sponsors of the protest (including Al Nodal of the Washington Project for the Arts and Phil Ogilvie of Lansburgh's) have put a hold on inflammatory rhetoric. The development plan which the meeting was called to protest was "very preliminary," Nodal explained, and leaders of PADC are "doing an okay job of talking with us... I don't think waving a lot of red flags now will do us any good." One focus of the protest was a reported plan for the partial demolition of the Lansburgh's building, the construction of office space, the reduction of space for arts organizations to 50,000 square feet (compared with 150,000 in the present arrangement) and an increase in rental charges for arts organizations to about $ 15 per square foot per year (compared with the present $ 1.50). All such plans are still "up in the air," according to Nodal.
Meanwhile, another group of Washington artists, spearheaded by Sam Gilliam, Rockne Krebs and Leslie Kuter, is continuing and elaborating its protest against the Corcoran Gallery, already developed at several small meetings. All local visual artists are invited to meet at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Gilliam/Krebs studio to finalize and sign a letter to the Corcoran's board of trustees.