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Glen Echo Partnership Urges Park Service To Reopen Park

by Aaron Kraut — October 11, 2013 at 3:30 pm 159 0

Spanish Ballroom, via Glen Echo Park Partnership

The nonprofit that runs activities in Glen Echo Park says its resident theaters, education workshops and art spaces have lost more than $250,000 because of the federal government shutdown.

The Glen Echo Park Partnership, a nonprofit created in 2002 by Montgomery County, also thinks the park should be reopened, similar to how other national parks have been reopened to accommodate activities not funded by the federal government.

The Partnership has a contract with the National Park Service to operate on the national park:

Recently, other sites that have a connection to the National Park Service but whose programs are not funded by NPS have been reopened. These include Claude Moore Colonial Farm in McLean, Virginia, and  Langley Fork Park, which is run by Fairfax County but is on National Park Service land.  The Glen Echo Park Partnership seeks the same treatment for Glen Echo Park, which can operate without any federal expenditures.

The organization said it has joined Montgomery County in trying to appeal the National Park Service decision to close the park. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) helped in the inquiry when the shutdown began on Oct. 1. The Partnership has yet to hear a response, according to a press release on Friday afternoon.

Programs in the Partnership’s portfolio include a dance program, resident artists studios, two children’s theater companies, an environmental education program, an arts workshop program and the historic 1921 Dentzel Carousel.

Partnership Executive Director Katey Boerner said the financial impact has been devastating, despite the Partnership’s best efforts to move programs to off-site locations.

Adventure Theatre MTC, a children’s theater company that operates out of the park, has had to move activities to its Rockville location. The group was forced to cancel a week worth of “Goodnight Moon” performances.

“This shutdown has the prospect of doing great harm to the organization financially, and we hope the issue is resolved soon,” producing artistic director Michael Bobbitt said earlier this week.

Photo via Glen Echo Park Partnership

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