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Monday, August 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Emerge holding ‘Raise the Roof’ campaign for new space

UPDATED: Thu., July 23, 2020

Jeni Riplinger-Hegsted talks about Emerge, her new art gallery and art education program, in Coeur d’Alene on Oct. 21, 2015.  (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review)
Jeni Riplinger-Hegsted talks about Emerge, her new art gallery and art education program, in Coeur d’Alene on Oct. 21, 2015. (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review)

This year has not been kind to Emerge. The Coeur d’Alene-based art space kicked off the new year by dealing with a fire that left Emerge displaced and unable to host workshops. Things were looking up, though, when Emerge signed a lease on a new location.

“Emerge specifically chose this space because it has the capacity to better accomplish our mission through larger classrooms, expanded gallery, a downtown location and retail space,” the folks at Emerge wrote in a news release. “All of these factors mean we can better elevate aspiring artists in our community and continue to build much-needed local arts culture.”

But then, of course, the coronavirus pandemic hit. The pandemic meant the permitting process to update the space was delayed, and when it finally happened, Emerge staff learned the ceiling and floor would need to be replaced, and additions were needed to bring the space up to code.

Because of the pandemic, Emerge also hasn’t been able to hold income-raising events and classes at temporary locations and has had to cancel monthly “Art Walk” gallery showings and community and program fundraising events.

“This is a loss of at least $40,000 in projected revenue that we simply cannot survive,” Emerge staff wrote. “When a community program doesn’t have events, it also doesn’t have sponsors, awareness and visibility – Emerge is dependent on all of these to continue to function. With an overall loss of approximately $90,000 in program income (through classes and events), compounded by the unexpected build-out costs of our newly rented gallery/classroom site, Emerge simply cannot continue to exist without the community’s help.”

The community can help by contributing to Emerge’s “Raise the Roof” campaign. The goal of the campaign, at secure.givelively.org/donate/emerge-cda-inc/raise-the-roof-2020, is to raise $45,000 to get the new space up and running. As of Wednesday morning, $3,717 had been raised.

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