Save the Corcoran: A Community Coalition

The Corcoran’s Board of Trustees voted on June 4, 2012, to price the historic Flagg building that houses both the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Corcoran College of Art + Design.  The logical and absolute next step after a real market appraisal is a sale.

Save The Corcoran believes that the Corcoran/Flagg building is an historic, cultural icon deeply tied to the history of the nation and Washington, DC.  It’s proximity to the White House, Old Executive Building, and the National Mall is ideal placement for an art school and a museum, as the location is at the center of national activity and public discourse.  Art and art-making is the core of social change and the life-long investigation into what is possible in this world. Art encourages creative thinking and problem solving – and we feel that there is no greater time for creative problem solving than now.

The Corcoran Flagg building (17th & New York Avenue NW) should be preserved as it is a National Historic Landmark, one of only 2,500 sites and buildings in the US designated by the Secretary of the Interior.  The solutions to save the building should be found within the community that admires, loves, utilizes and needs the Corcoran.  This community includes members, students, staff, faculty, alumni, donors, friends, as well as the general public and visitors whose lives have been impacted through the Corcoran’s exhibitions and programs.  Whether through relationships created between individuals and art, or connections made with others within its walls, each community member has been impacted by the Corcoran in myriad of ways.

Save the Corcoran is working with the community to create an alternate plan, one that does not include selling the building.  We caucus in meetings and poll stakeholders to transparently analyze what options are viable. From this research and exploration, we will develop a clear, workable plan to save the Corcoran through community engagement, re-invention and, most importantly, support.

The Corcoran’s legacy and history is our legacy and history. It is undeniable that its identity, programs, curriculum and essence are deeply tied to the building.  Together with the Corcoran Board and Administration, we must explore all possible recourse to preserve the building before the drastic measure is taken to sell it.