Intermedia Arts lays off entire staff


It's not looking good for Intermedia Arts.

Festival de las Calaveras 2017

Intermedia Arts
Free; $3-$10 suggested donation

This morning, a short -- but not sweet -- note was sent out announcing that things are dire for the space:

"Due to the organization’s current financial situation, the board of directors of Intermedia Arts has made the difficult decision to lay off all staff. Over the next 45 days the board will be evaluating options to preserve the mission of the organization. During this 45-day period, the board intends to meet commitments for previously scheduled events, rentals and similar activities."

Previously scheduled events include Festival de las Calaveras, which has an arts exhibition at Intermedia. That show opened Thursday and will be on display through fall.

Over the years, Intermedia Arts has become a major hub for arts and creativity in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood, hosting gallery shows, community meals, festivals, movie series, theater and dance productions, and classes and workshops for all ages. Intermedia Arts has been especially focused on supporting the efforts of people of color, youth, and the LGBTQ communities. Folks may remember their epic B-Girl B festival, celebrating women in hip-hop, and in recent years the space has served as an active venue during the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

Last year, the space brought on a new executive director, Eyenga Bokamba, who was excited to blend all the offerings of Intermedia into one friendly project.

“I’m really curious to see what could emerge if we build more intersectionality,” she told City Pages in 2016.

This isn't the first time that the organization has laid off staff and regrouped; in 2008 such actions were taken in order to prevent the space from accruing debt it couldn't pay off. After meeting with community members and discussing how the space could better serve the cities, it reopened with a new mission about a year later.