Letter to the Editor: Reconsider SWAG eviction

Posted 4/2/18

Much to my dismay, I was recently informed that the South Westminster Arts Group (SWAG) is in the process of being evicted from their art gallery located in the Rodeo Market …

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Letter to the Editor: Reconsider SWAG eviction

Posted

Reconsider SWAG eviction

Much to my dismay, I was recently informed that the South Westminster Arts Group (SWAG) is in the process of being evicted from their art gallery located in the Rodeo Market Building, which was leased to them for over ten years by the City of Westminster.

As a Colorado native who grew up in Westminster, both my wife and I have enjoyed the benefits of this art gallery. We have both attended the annual Orchard Festival which is organized by SWAG, and my wife recently submitted some of her own photos to the art gallery for display. My dismay over this issue was only heightened when someone forwarded me a copy of the memorandum which was written by several City of Westminster employees, laying out their case against SWAG.

The vexatious allegations in this memorandum are styled in a way to imply that someone was conducting an evaluation of a major Wall Street corporation rather than a small town non-profit entity.

For example, they call into question the number of members that SWAG claims, but this doesn’t account for the fact that SWAG provides many services to non-members, including free art classes to local residents.

Another claim centers around the allegation that SWAG violated their own bylaws by having fewer than the required number of board members, but I’ve been told that those same bylaws also imposed term limits which required board members to step down after a certain number of years, which is why several members did recently step down. It doesn’t seem reasonable to me that a group of local artists are being criticized for failing to run an art gallery the same way McDonalds would run a corporate headquarters.

Hopefully the City of Westminster will reconsider this course of action.

Daniel Lancaster,
Lakewood

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