The Corcoran Gallery of Art is not, as reported in the Feb. 22 Style story "District, Arts Center Go to the Canvas Over Rent," merely looking for space to house its college of art while the new Frank Gehry building is under construction. We wish to create programs for both our college and museum while helping to transform the Millennium Arts Center's decaying building, the former Randall Junior High School in Southwest Washington, into a creative anchor for the neighborhood.
The Corcoran shares the arts center's vision of a dynamic mix of artists, exhibits and education. We have made a substantial investment toward this end and regret that the solutions we have offered to the center so far have been rejected.
The Corcoran repeatedly has told the artists and Millennium management that we will try to resolve their issues with the District to make the building legal and safe and to facilitate the uninterrupted tenure of the current occupants. The renovation would be a multimillion-dollar project that could result in Washington's answer to the Museum of Modern Art's P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York.
The Corcoran is Washington's oldest art museum, its only college of art and design, and its largest privately supported cultural institution. Responding to the practical needs of local artists, enriching the art education of young people and adults, and providing exhibition venues for local artists are central to the Corcoran's mission. We at the Corcoran hope that the District and the Millennium Arts Center can work out their differences so we can be part of this promising project.
Chairman of the Board
DAVID C. LEVY
President and Director
Corcoran Gallery of Art