Men, Prayer, Politics, Horses, Detroit
January 25, 2012
Authors’ note: I would like to offer a personal note of gratitude to Richard Isenberg and Susan Mills of Citi for taking the time to discuss this situation with me, understanding what was at stake for the arts in Detroit and taking immediate and decisive action to bring a halt to the foreclosure and eviction of Chris Jaszczak and 1515 Broadway. No strangers to the ongoing mortgage crisis, I commend both of them for doing the right thing in this particular case.
Detroit is an insanely complex urban fabric for many to understand, perhaps most difficult for institutional banking entities sequestered high above the fray in NYC and elsewhere. I sincerely do not expect the ‘shirts’ at Citi to ever really understand the Chris Jaszczaks of the world but, thankfully, there are a whole lot of people who do, people who mobilized and were prepared to physically stop this eviction, myself included.
We remain a very long way from justice for the thousands and thousands cast out of their homes as a result of the ‘shitty paper’ created by the likes of Citi and others. The unraveling of this web of greed will surely continue for years to come. I for one will not however lose faith in human decency and our ability to recalibrate our inner moral compass. Richard and Susan: Thank you. Read more here.
1515 Broadway is not just an address. 1515 Broadway is not just a ‘coffee shop’, which is all Detroit’s hipsters may know it as. 1515 Broadway is, and has been, synonymous with emerging arts, theatre and music in the heart of Detroit for over 25 years. Being as Detroit is continuously plucked globally as an incubator for such, one must comprehend the role of this classic, 115 seat black-box theatre in a frame far more extensive than the city alone.
1515 Broadway is the atomic nucleus of cool. Period.
Chris Jaszczak is the visionary/entrepreneur/raconteur/aficionado who has steadfastly kept the house lights on year after year, during some of Detroits darkest years. When many others, pardon me, gave up and got the f*ck out of town, Chris hung in there. Over the years, he has sacrificed personally time and again in order to enlighten us just one more time, with just one more production. He has steadfastly kept Detroit out at the edge of a globally significant cultural scene. Iconic.
When Chris wasn’t carving a path for us through the creative universe, he was, and is, opening his doors to political and humanitarian causes organizing in the city and in need of a place to meet. 1515 Broadway has been at the intersection of art and activism relentlessly for over two decades.
Now Chris needs OUR help. Please take a moment to read this and participate as best you can. -N