May 5, 2013
It is with both sadness and gratitude that we write to you to tell you that we’ve made the difficult decision to transition out of Rhizome, at some point in the coming months.
For the past seven years, Rhizome has been our home, and you have been our family and community. Together, we’ve created a particular kind of magic in this space, one that has allowed us to develop our collective resistance to injustice, and to imagine and build a better world together. We’ve developed relationships that couldn’t have been forged elsewhere, and we’ve created a shared home where many of us have been able to take root. It pains us tremendously that this part of the journey is coming to an end, yet we hope that together we will find ways to ensure that these connections are able to live on.
Our decision is based primarily on our desire to have time and energy to focus on other things that also care deeply about: our family who are elsewhere in Canada and the U.S., and the social justice struggles that we are a part of in the U.S. and beyond. It has become increasingly difficult for us to juggle these multiple responsibilities while ensuring that we dedicate the time and energy to Rhizome that this project deserves.
To be closer to our families, we will likely move to Toronto at some point in the near future, and hope to re-open Rhizome there. So this announcement is more of a transition than it is of an end. When the time comes, we will ask you to spread the word to your Toronto contacts so that they can help us recreate and rebuild there. If you are not on our email list, please join so that we can keep you updated.
This project that we started seven years ago has been a tremendous success. So many of you have contributed so much. We are so grateful to the many people who have collaborated with us to hold countless meetings and workshops, display and share artwork, and host and over 1,000 justice-focused community events since we opened in 2006. We are grateful to the Friends of Rhizome, who contribute what they can, when they are able in order to sustain this space as a shared community resource. So many important things have happened in this space as a result of these many and varied contributions.
We hope that the remainder of our time at 317 East Broadway will be a time for us to celebrate and enjoy what we have built together, and to strategize about how the best of Rhizome can live on in Vancouver.
There are no words to express our gratitude for all that you have done in and for this space. Our lives have been enriched in countless ways through our collaborations with you, and we have been endlessly inspired and energized by your creativity, vision and commitment. These relationships will continue, and will always be a part of us.
As we gradually transition eastward, this project might lie dormant for a while. However, we will ensure that Rhizome is able to sprout up again, albeit in a new location. As Carl Jung put it, “Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.”
With love and gratitude,
Lisa and Vinetta