Minerva’s Drawing Studio a/k/a Spring Studio
Each day is both a joy and a terror for 80-year-old artist Minerva Durham. Each day is a blessing, another day to be still alive, to walk from her home on Mulberry Street in Little Italy to her studio on Broome Street in Chinatown where she holds life-drawing sessions open to the public, and where she teaches students about the form and structure of the human body, as they draw with charcoal on newsprint, concentrating on a nude model who poses on a platform in an atmosphere of silence and near reverence.
But each day brings the fear that the affordable fees that Minerva charges the public will not be enough to meet the costs of running the studio’s year-round, seven-days-a-week program of morning, afternoon, and evening sessions with live models of all ages, ethnicities, and body types.
For the past twenty-five years the studio was sustainable, but two years ago it had to relocate from SoHo to Chinatown. It now runs at a deficit of $40K a year. New York’s inflated real estate market Downtown has driven out hardware stores, laundromats, and mom-and-pop stores. Not only are prices high, but owners require massive guarantees to protect their investments.
A combination of donations from Minerva's friends and artists and students as well as sales of her drawings and vintage paintings saw her through the first two years that the studio was on Broome Street; but she was late in making some payments. Raising money was a slow and exhausting task, so last year Minerva asked your help as she turned to crowd-sourcing to keep her studio alive and vibrant. The goal listed above reflects $25K that was donated last year. This year's goal is $42K, $11K of which has been donated already.
No donation is too small. Minerva's Drawing Studio is counting on many small donations from around the world to see it through.
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