For Asian Arts Initiative, housing hitch overshadows program kickoff

    After being booted from its home, which was in the path of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Expansion, the Asian Arts Initiative today celebrates its grand reopening and the launch of various community art programs. But things aren’t completely wrapped up.

    After being booted from its home, which was in the path of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Expansion, the Asian Arts Initiative today celebrates its grand reopening and the launch of various community art programs. But things aren’t completely wrapped up.

    Transcript:
    The new Asian Arts Initiative space on Vine Street is envisioned as a multi-tenant facility that will serve as a cultural resource for the redevelopment of the north end of Chinatown. The one catch is that the three-story, 24,000-square foot space may not be permanent. The Initiative’s option to buy the building expires in September, per an agreement reached with the landlord. Gayle Isa is director of the Initiative.

    Isa: “People at the city level have met with us, told us they would support our project. Our state rep, state senator, have expressed support of the project. We’re really just waiting for decision makers, like the Governor in Harrisburg, to decide that our project is a worthy priority, and release the funds.”

    If the building is not purchased, Isa says the group may not be able to afford commercial lease rates. The cost of the space is $2.5 million and may be paid for with Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program funds.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right clink on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090403asian.mp3]

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.