“We reopened on July 22nd and things have been going extremely well since then. But last night that notice came out of nowhere. And, you know, we’ve literally had four L&I inspectors out here just this year,” [PhilaMOCA manager Eric Bresler] said. “That’s why this is such a shock…I thought all these kinds of city-related troubles were behind us.”
PhilaMOCA’s Eric Bresler presents a humorous, feature-length slideshow on the closure and eventual reopening of the beloved art space.
PhilaMOCA was shut down by the Department of Licenses and Inspections in September of 2019, just a few months shy of its 10th Anniversary. After surviving, and eventually thriving, for nine years with a DIY attitude and a rarely matched level of creativity and productivity, PhilaMOCA found itself facing the inevitable byproducts of a neighborhood in the throes of rapid development. Legitimacy in the eyes of the city became a necessity to survive, but it quickly became apparent that proper zoning and an occupancy number sign to hang next to the front door weren’t attainable overnight. And thus began PhilaMOCA’s 23 month road to resurrection.
PhilaMOCA manager Eric Bresler meticulously archived the entire journey, from closure to reopening, and will now recount the whole story as a humorous, feature-length slideshow that also serves as a history of the beloved art space. Relive his endless frustrations as he navigates a maze of permits and licenses, deals with a disinterested neighborhood organization, and ultimately faces off with the Board of Building Standards (via Zoom). Things seemed pretty bleak at times, especially when the pandemic rolled around, but if this closure proved anything it’s that there are people in this city who truly care about PhilaMOCA’s programming and mission. From loving support letters to desperately needed donations, it was really the support of the public, and the skills of a few kind individuals in particular, that enabled the building to reopen.
Wondering what took us so long? Interested in finding out what is needed to open a space of your own? Still confused about who that 12-year-old kid was that took your money at the door and told you not to bring your drink outside? Come join us for the answers to these questions and many more as we salute the past while looking ahead to a newly legitimized (in the eyes of city records) future.