Friday, August 17, 2012

UPDATE: BAC vandalized

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Still no news on possible leads as to who vandalized Venue 515. But as the Gazette reported yesterday, the BAC's insurance should cover most of the building damage. About three dozen paintings — including one by Lance Green worth about $10,000 — are in bad shape but may be salvageable.

The feeling of violation is palpable throughout the community, as evidenced by the outcry on Facebook:


In an e-mail flier sent this afternoon, new ED Natalie Johnson writes, "What happened at the BAC the other night was terrible and incomprehensible. That being said, we are moving on to a better future." Donations are now being collected to help the organization get back on its feet.

In event news, the BAC has canceled tonight's comedy show from Improv Colorado. However, the BAC will still participate in Manitou Springs' Third Friday Artwalk from 5 to 8 p.m., and people are welcome to help paint a mural the organization is working on with Creative Minds of Youth Kinnect.

Tomorrow, it's hosting a "Group Hug" from 3 to 5 p.m., with drinks and snacks to raise money.


Last night, an individual or group entered the Business of Art Center's Venue 515 and did some extreme damage. They stopped up every sink in the building with plastic wrap and saucers, also taping over floor drains, and let the water overflow.

It is so malicious, Rush says.

Jana Rush, BAC event coordinator, arrived to work this morning to find Manitou Springs police onsite and an inch of standing water in her office. "My office is demolished," she says. Her computer, records and books were heavily damaged, along with the building's artwork. It started from the top floor, Rush adds, so water from there has drained into the old building walls, doing untold harm.

"We've got, I'm guessing, $100,000 in damage," Rush estimates.

The BAC's other building is fine, and there's no sign of forced entry into 515. No one yet knows how the intruders entered the building, nor who they could be.

While police are investigating, the BAC staff is working with water damage and mildew specialists, as well as their insurance company.

"We're speechless," Rush says. "We're just floored."

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