NOLA artist complex hoping to stay open and remain a resource

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NEW ORLEANS- From the outside, the buildings look dilapidated, but inside, lives a world of creativity and beauty.

This complex houses over 200 New Orleans artists, but they are being asked to vacate the premises of their affordable studios in the 8th Ward.

The state fire marshal says the structures are unsafe and dangerous, so the residents must go.

New Orleans artist James Michalopoulos owns the complex and he believes that someone complained to the city that residents were using the spaces as living facilities, which is prohibited in the artist rental agreements.

"We're certainly going to do everything that's possible to stay here and remain as a resource for the artistic community. That's our fundamental objective, and we're going to hit that with everything that we've got," says Michalopoulos. "I don't think that anybody wants to see the artistic community evicted from here or the town. There are a number of people working with us to normalize where we need to, what we've got going on and put in any corrections we need to be fully appropriate and fully in code," he continues.

As owner, he hopes to bring the spaces back into compliance and continue to provide this haven for struggling artists.

But for now, the artists have until March 25 to vacate the spaces.

If you'd like to help, you're asked to call 504-356-2850 to lend a hand or donate.



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