Gen Art, the New York-based nonprofit fashion, art and film advocates, is folding due to financial issues. It comes as a significant blow locally, where they had a constant presence and their fall Fresh Faces fashion show was a highlight of Fashion Focus Chicago each fall.
Though its presence in Chicago probably had a disproportionately high profile, the organization had been struggling for more than a year, as detailed in this scathing Gawker post from 2009.
Here’s the announcement:
|Dear Gen Art Supporter,|
It is with an extremely heavy heart that we are contacting you.
After struggling for the past 18 months since the economic crisis, Gen Art has finally succumbed to the recession.
During this challenging time we did everything in our power to adjust our business to these new business realities by cutting costs and seeking out alternative funding solutions. However when a major, new, corporate partnership unexpectedly collapsed a few weeks ago, we found ourselves without sufficient resources or time to overcome this sudden and substantial loss of revenue. The reality is that we had fiscally planned and relied upon the representations of this partner. Their decision had the unintended effect of pushing Gen Art over the edge. As of today we have halted all operations.
We will be forever grateful for the support of so many individuals and corporate partners over the last 16 years who have believed in the vision and mission of this business. Whatever we have accomplished has been made possible through the hard work and dedication of the incredible Gen Art staff, interns and legions of volunteers who have given so much of themselves, their passion and their talents to the common causes of discovering and showcasing the new generation of talent.
It has been an incredible journey and experience. We will always remember the good times and proudly think back on the opportunities created for so many emerging artists through the thousands of fashion shows, film screenings and festivals, live music performance, art fairs and competitions we have produced across the country since 1994.
We hope that where we have left off, others will step up to help fill the void.