Letter to the Editor
October 26, 1997

'Rio Bravo?'

I am writing in response to the article "Blame It on Rio" [TONY 55], in which Steve Ellman mentions the location of the rally for ABC No Rio at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as an indication of "the club's isolation within its largely Hispanic neighborhood."

I appreciate Mr. Ellman's extensive coverage of our "Endangered Spaces: Eviction Action Weekend," but must point out that the decision to hold the speak-out at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was based on three factors. Foremost was the Met's proximity to Gracie Mansion, where the rally culminated. The museum was also chosen to bring No Rio's situation to the attention of a wider public, since actions on the Lower East Side frequently result in "preaching to the converted." Last but not least, it was important to voice the grievances of the most harassed and beleaguered art spaces on the premises of one of the most well-heeled and mollycoddled institutions. (In the current political climate, the majority of funding for small arts spaces has been diverted to the already flourishing behemoths, such as BAM, MoMA, and the Metropolitan.)

--Robin Goldsmith, Former Secretrary of the Board of Directors of ABC No Rio

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ABC No Rio: The Culture of Opposition Since 1980