Cranky Yellow has stopped. Nearly 3 months after speaking up about grievances with the complexities of Saint Louis City process, they’ve managed to complicate Cranky once again. It’s disappointing, discouraging, and down right frustrating.
No one is looking for sympathy… We’re looking for solutions.
Our landlord phoned and said he has received a letter from Saint Louis City Hall. The letter states that Cranky Yellow does not have the proper permits for “assemblies” in the basement. “Assemblies” refers to the plethora of independent art exhibitions, musical performances and theater acts we’ve hosted since moving into the space nearly 3 years ago. Or more scholarly: A group of people gathered together in one place for a common purpose. Yeah, that sounds like Cranky!
Since the beginning of Cranky Yellow I have aimed to provide an open, safe and progressive space for exhibiting local/international art, performance and music. I’ve always lived/worked in multi-use spaces to make the absolute best of the little I have to utilize (both funds and square feet). Working with the open basement doubles the square foot size of Cranky Yellow and allows for more collaboration with artists and musicians creating in our city. Sharing a common ground for many purposes.
I rent the entire building as a small business entrepreneur and citizen of Saint Louis. I am proud to call the diverse Cherokee Street home. I feel an absolute necessity to find use for what I’ve been lucky enough to have. This problem is no exception. I upgraded Cranky into the current space at the onslaught of the national Economic melt-down of 2008. I found a way to grow my business while big-banks were being bailed out; all without their loans or credit.
Any amount of growth in Saint Louis should be received with open arms and seriously nurtured by city officials. Much of the city’s historic brick architecture lays empty and in ill-repair. The spaces that are occupied are filled by hardworking citizens of the city. People that are often times in charge of the future of their jobs or the future of their business.
While the entire country is buzzing about the state of the economy we need to focus on the diversity and local achievements in our communities. The successes that allow existing buildings to have tenants. I truly believe that EVERY small-business and independently operated space, regardless of trade or mission, deserves to be helped by those elected to make our city better. The complex nature of city process should not fall on our shoulders. We should be assisted and promoted not disrupted and tangled in tricky bureaucracy.
THAT MEANS YOU!
The “assemblies” that are in violation consist of our friends, fans and patrons. The people that love and support Cranky Yellow. You spend your dollars here and help keep our doors open! The individuals that illegally “assemble” here represent 35% of our monthly income. An influx of funds that is seriously helpful; without which it will be difficult to meet our monthly expenses! I can’t explain how hurtful it is to lose that important income due to the city’s legal expectations.
I always wonder to myself what people think about Cranky Yellow. Whether it is important enough to continue struggling forward. Is our space more useful closed? Does our city have a preconceived plan of abandonment? Do city officials favor the Starbucks and Walgreens over grass-roots development? I’m constantly engrossed in the hardships of staying open and it is easy to be in bad spirits. Resolution + Failure: Do violations make us sexy?
+ Cranky has hosted hundreds of acts including many of the local bands nominated for Best of Saint Louis Music Awards. We have had indie folk, hardcore punk, heavy metal, accapella pop, hip-hop and things beyond avant garde.
+ We’ve supported numerous theater groups. Ranging from a Beowulf puppet show to the Amazing Acro Cat Circus and multiple variety/comedy shows in between.
+ Our monthly art exhibitions showcase local artists and national group shows. We highlight the strange and often over-looked artwork of up and coming artists. We always strive to share art.
+ During our additional late night hours we’ve been a safe haven for multiple individuals jumped and battered on the street. Ice provided for wounds and telephone service to notify the police.
+ Cranky was recently praised for saving Cinco De Mayo’s Gringo Stage performance. The Mayor even tweeted that people should come out and see our “non-arena” music. He’s right about one thing: Cranky is NOT an arena.
Cranky is unfortunately closing the doors for an indefinite amount of time starting JULY 1st. We’ve wrapped our window in yellow inspiration. It is time to re-work the space and attempt to find the necessary support/funding to get up to city code. I’m honestly scared to find out how much their regulations might cost or if it is even viable to continue. Sorry friends, no music or art at Cranky for awhile. We promise to work hard and get back on our toes soon; here is to hoping Saint Louis City Hall helps make that a reality.
I’m very proud of Cranky Yellow. I love the crankiness out there and I’m so inspired by everyone that has ever supported this vision! I’m confident and ready to find solutions. Cranky will not be forced out or compromised!
Leave comments, thoughts and insight! Share this article! Let us know your perspective! We need your help! Together to the future of Cranky!
We just need time to figure it out. We’re excited to share everything as we move forward.
<3 Cranky David & the Cranky Yellow Team
(P.S. Thank you Amanda Beard, Jarred Gastreich, Jenn Breman, and Stephen Houldsworth for the photos used above. Awesome)