City Councils taking action with local Artist-Run Heritage Post 1970 – Making zines about ARI heritage – We’re So Not Getting the Security Deposit Back: A Guide to Defunct Artist Spaces in partnership with Beltway Public Works in DC

Looking for ideas about how to archive your artist-run initiative in the longer-term, here is a fabulous Washington DC project (2017-2018) and thanks artist and ARI heritage aficionado John Waller for kindly sharing these links….



Help write the history of DC’s artist-run spaces!

In conjunction with the September 2017 exhibition at Washington Project for the Arts, the DC-based cultural initiative Beltway Public Works and the NYC-based art blog Art F City are collaborating on a DC-region specific edition of We Are SO Not Getting the Security Deposit Back: A Guide to Defunct Artist-Run Spaces. A zine compiling responses from no-longer-extant spaces in greater DC area will published by Art F City and launched during the fall WPA exhibition.



A collaboration of BPW and Art F City


Art F City is a non-profit publication that supports the creation of more sustainable artist-run projects through a mix of criticism, special projects and professional development opportunities. Our initiatives include an online publishing program, a project space and a diverse event program which serve to curate emerging practices, commission new art, and build IRL and online communities. We believe culture makers function best with a supportive community. To that end, we’re working toward a more socially conscious art community by facilitating the sharing of ideas, resources, and skills.



Last October, we published the first edition of our zine series, We’re So Not Getting the Security Deposit Back: A Guide to Defunct Artist Spaces in partnership with Beltway Public Works in DC. Today, we’re making it freely available to all in the form of a PDF. (If you want the physical version please contact AFC directly


The zine charts the history of artist run spaces in DC from the 1970’s through to the present, from garage galleries to traditional white wall cubes. It even documents the ring of sweat left in a tiny gallery after they hosted a packed Bad Brains show. It’s a thorough accounting of the artist run movement in DC and worth downloading for that alone.


But this is just the start of the project. We’re making zines that document the history of 50 secondary cities in 50 states. It’s a huge undertaking, but one that’s desperately needed. The long unpaid hours, the love, and the art all gets lost without it. So, if you live in a secondary city and think you could wrangle some folks to fill out a questionaire and make a zine, reach out to We’ll make it happen together.

Making Zines


Archive Copy

Join us for the release of “We Are SO Not Getting the Security Deposit Back; a Guide to Defunct Artist-Run Spaces” (DC Edition). This zine is the first of a series conceived by the NYC-based art blog Art F City, and co-published by the DC-based artist initiative Beltway Public Works with curator Blair Murphy. It documents spaces from the 1970s to the near present, and includes long-running entities like Market 5 Gallery and the Washington Women’s Art Center and short-term projects such as FLEX, which ran for two days in an unrented ground-floor retail space. Publishing these stories makes visible the role of artist-run spaces in the cultural fabric of the city. As Paddy Johnson writes, projects like these, “made with love and tears” are “the ones least likely to be archived — and most precious to us.”

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