The Bath House Cultural Center. Photo by Danny Fulgencio
It was a labor of pure lake love, and about $200,000 in donations, that built the White Rock Lake Museum in 2004. But this month, without any discussion with the people who built it, the City of Dallas handed the museum an eviction notice giving the group 60 days to vacate the Bath House Cultural Center.
“It took a community to build this museum; it’s going to take a community to save it,” says Kurt Kretsinger, president of the museum board.
Why exactly the museum was given an eviction notice remains murky. Marty Van Kleeck, who manages the center, referred questions to David Fisher at the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, which oversees the building. After agreeing to an interview, Fisher didn’t answer his phone when the Advocate called. But in an email to Kretsinger, which included the eviction notice, Fisher wrote:
“Text-based, static, interpretive exhibits are just not efficient uses of space anymore. After more than a decade, we feel the museum has lived its useful life. In addition, the number one resource we hear that is needed by the cultural community is more gallery space for emerging artists. Hence, we are requesting that you remove the museum panels so that we can replace them with an emerging artist space. This helps the Bath House and Office of Cultural Affairs further their missions of supporting the arts and artists in Dallas.”
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Wynne McNabb Cunningham