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You might be familiar with Studio ARTES in Hornsby in Sydney's northern suburbs, by knowing members (people with disability), or staff, or from having seen some of the spectacular art works that are produced there.
We know them for all of those reasons, and as a a highly regarded, innovative organisation supporting a significant number of people with Down syndrome, whose values are congruent with those of Down Syndrome NSW.
Approximately 140 people with disabilities attend Studio ARTES regularly to participate in recreational, learning and social activities, and some are being supported in the development of career paths in visual arts.
We are very sorry to hear that early yesterday morning (Sunday 3 April), the main studio, the location for many of the programs and storage of art equipment and art works, and the administrative centre, sustained extensive damage from a fire in an adjoining building, and is likely to be demolished.
Luckily, no-one was on site, and there were no injuries.
While some activities occur at other venues, the damaged building is the major centre for Studio ARTES, and the losses are great - in both material and social terms ...
... The fire has caused extensive smoke, water and structural damage, with the roof caving in. We have lost everything. Artworks, filming equipment, computers, costumes to name a few ... and our home for 140 members and 35 staff.
We are all devastated. Any assistance you are able to provide will be graciously accepted as we begin to rebuild ... (appeal page)
Studio ARTES is determined to re-build, and to sustain its support programs and activities while that happens. Supporting the members will involve promoting understanding of what has happened, what needs to happen now, and reassurance that the services and opportunities offered will be available throughout a period of disruption, change and re-establishment. Studio ARTES is already taking steps to achieve those aims.