4800 RIA February Update!

A message from our Founder:

I am so thrilled to be able to report to our community friends, neighbors, and partners that demolition of the old systems and interior surfaces has begun at the Art Works Now project at 4800 Rhode Island Avenue in Hyattsville.

The building was purchased out of foreclosure in December of 2012 and it's been a long process of design and permitting. I've often been asked if I was ever tempted to give up. It would not be honest of me to say I never felt pushed to the brink of crying, "Uncle!". But those were fleeting moments that were quickly replaced with the love and support of our community, the wisdom of our board, and the commitment of our community leadership.

One of the most difficult moments came with the greenhouse accident which really broke all of our hearts last September. It was one of the saddest days of our life as an organization. Many of our neighbors and leaders have asked what our plans are for the greenhouse space. Here is today's answer: We are committed to completing the project as planned as safely, beautifully, and quickly as possible. In order to do that we have decided that we must focus on the tasks already on our plate for right now. We consider our response to the greenhouse accident the next phase in this process. There is a lot to consider in responding to that horrible day and the loss of a really cool structure. We will take that task on as thoughtfully and responsibly as we can. In the interim, the space will most likely be a temporary garden, an homage to all the flowers grown there for decades.

It is with my deepest gratitude that I share with all of you our progress. Not one moment of today would be possible without your partnership on this journey to a place we could only imagine back in 2012. A place where our kids, our families, and our seniors will enjoy creating art together, and - of course - eating some awesome pizza!

*NOTE: Pizzeria Paradiso's Ruth Gresser wants everyone to know that their design and build process is on schedule and that she looks forward to a wonderful fall opening with all of you!

Looking forward as always,


Barbara Johnson