February 2, 2009

Regarding our hours and with particular relevance to the show of one Mr. Matthew Paul Jinks and the newly absent SINGER SEWING MACHINE SHOP sign.

Unfortunately, a man from the city came to the gallery before Christmas. He came on account of the sandwich board that we used to put on the street during gallery hours, so that such persons who may not already be familiar with the Green Lantern Gallery, might recognize “Gallery” and take a risk, climb up the stairs and see something unusual. According to the City Man, one needs a permit for such signs; a permit we of course did not have. Upon inquiring further, he realized that we also had no business license. (What is now a glaring oversight, I had assumed that one could not procure 501(c)3 status without having all other ducks in a row. I understand now that the 501(c)3 or non-profit status, is federal, whereas the business license is a local matter.) At any rate, the City Man issued a ticket and we were instructed to obtain said license. This should have been easy enough, since the building is, at least in part, zoned Commercial.

However, upon a second visit to City Hall (the first one being relatively inconclusive as I was sent up to separate waiting rooms on ever increasing floors, made to fill out forms, answer peculiar and seemingly inconclusive questions and was eventually informed that I did not have enough information), and with the same amount of information that this time seemed adequate, the business license was within arms’ length (they wanted to call the Green Lantern an Artist work/space). Nevertheless, after speaking to a different group of people (having been sent down stairs from up), I was informed that obtaining a business license would be impossible and I must cease all business activity immediately. The current space could neither qualify as an artist-live-work-space (because there are more than 15 people who come on a given week, more than 10% or 300 square feet of the space which is used for business purposes and more than one entrance), just as it could not be zoned specifically as a commercial space, because it is on the second floor, not the first, of 1511 N Milwaukee.

TO THAT END WE WILL NOT HAVE OFFICIAL BUSINESS HOURS; THE QUEEN’S TAILOR WILL BE AVAILABLE TO VIEW BY APPOINTMENT, and the likelihood of someone being here during general business hours is quite high but please call first 773.266.4234.

In addition, if you have any suggestions as to how we might proceed through this sticky situation, I’m all ears. It’s obvious that the current situation is unsustainable, and while we’d like to finish up the season’s programming, I feel it’s important to do strive towards solid legitimacy. How that might be accomplished, I’ve no idea yet, but am talking to as many people as I can, and working closely with the board to develop multiple strategies.

A thread of the story that was left hanging:

The City Man also questioned our Favorite Landlord Ever about his giant red and blue paint-peeling sign that has probably been hanging on the side of 1511 N Milwaukee longer than I’ve been alive. When the Landlord was unable to show his license for said sign, the City Man wrote a ticket. Rather than pay the necessary monies to garner the necessary permit, the Landlord took down said sign and it now sits, bowing a little under an irregular blanket of snow, in the back alley.


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