Boycott the Marriott
Read up on how this story has unfolded
in local online news sources and other publications.
The Brooklyn Ink – Sept. 4, 2013
Carl Blumenthal – Aug. 1 2013
DNAinfo NY – July 9, 2013
NY Times City Room Blog – Mar. 8, 2013
DNAinfo NY – Feb. 19, 2013
Trip Advisor Review- Jan 30, 2014
The Gowanus Arts building has been an active and well loved not-for-profit community arts haven, serving literally thousands of dancers, musicians, visual artists and Brooklyn families since 1985.
The new 12 story Fairfield Marriott, owned by Madison Avenue developer Marc Freud of Troutbrook Co., opened it’s doors in the Gowanus Arts’ backyard in July 2011.
Since that time, Freud/Troutbrook and his Marriott management team have acted as neo-colonialists on our little corner of the Gowanus, causing damage to our not-for-profit building (which they deny and refuse to repair); they put our building tenants’ health and safety at risk during their demolition and construction phases; they reneged on their agreement to do their part of a mural project they initiated, causing our not-for-profit building owners to pay out thousands of dollars to cover Marriott’s obligation; they caused the loss of a $38,000 Groundswell mural offered to our art center free of charge; they tried to silence our musicians through false claims and threats on two different occasions; and they have threatened Spoke the Hub with a potential lawsuit through false and frivolous claims for launching a mural contest where images of giant painted bed bugs might loom over the Marriott’s parking lot.
We continue to ask all Gowanus visitors who come to New York City, partially to experience our lively arts and culture, to honor our local artists’ boycott and to stay at one of the many other fine hotels in our neighborhood, many of which are much cheaper, in safer and more convenient locations, and are closer to amenities such as restaurants, cafes, bars, stores and public transportation until Freud/Troutbrook and Marriott International make reparation for their bad neighbor policies, repair the damage they have done to our arts center and to community relations in general. We also ask Marriott International to step in and enforce the community, hospitality, integrity and ethics they claim their international conglomerate is founded on and promotes all over the world — except, apparently, in Brooklyn.
How We’re Fighting Back
We, Gowanus artists, think it is high time to take our protest into the streets and make Marriott’s egregious behavior more widely known to the public. We hope that the Gowanus and greater Brooklyn community will join us in our artists “fight back” efforts and steer their friends and family away from this hotel with their destructive business practices. Kids and families are particularly welcome to join us in this creative protest.
Let’s paint our own murals! Since the Marriott denied our arts center a free Groundswell mural and Gowanus Arts owners paid for the promised mural wall prep, we no longer feel it necessary to consult or collaborate with the Marriott on what kind of imagery they would like to see facing their corporate clients and their parking lot – every image and content is now fair game. UPDATE: We have a winner!
SIDEWALK POP-UP ART PROTEST ACTIONS AND PERFORMANCES
Spoke the Hub Dancing is in the process of creating various outdoor “pop-up” art installations and informal performances which will sprout up along the sidewalk around the Marriott hotel this summer, continuing into the fall and beyond, or until our grievances are addressed and resolved.
Our goal will be to encourage Marriott guests to report on our art actions and protest on “Trip Advisor” as well as other hotel review websites, and to encourage future guests not to cross our community arts “picket” line and to consider staying at any number of the other lovely hotels which have cropped up within spitting distance of this Marriott.
How You Can Help
Buy A Shirt
We are now accepting pre-orders for our Boycott the Marriott T-Shirt. Order now to help Spoke the Hub raise money to commission and install three original murals by local artists on the side of the Gowanus Arts Building this Fall.
Sign our Petition
Our petition on Change.org has 350+ signatures. Let Marriott know how you feel.