The Red Museum was Shut Down for Code Violations, Now its Getting Help from the City

SACRAMENTO -- Inside the Red Museum, the sound of change can be heard.

Electricians have been hard at work recently at the downtown warehouse known as the Red Museum.

A successful part of Sacramento's underground art scene since 2015, the venue was abruptly shut down last month after the city discovered electrical issues as well as a lack of proper permits.

"They came in and shut off our electricity," said Jennifer Jackson, co-founder of Red Museum.

"We're really working hard to be flexible as we work with the venues, the artists and the community to make sure they stay open. That's really the bottom line. And if we can make sure they are safe, then we'll come up with a plan," Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen said.

Hansen brokered a deal that calls for an estimated $10,000 worth of labor and materials. Members of the IBEW Local 340 Union are doing the work for free.

"What we really wanted to do was let them keep doing what they do well, and we just worked with our staff for a plan to do that. Keep buildings safe, get a building permit, they are still going through the same process they should go through," Hansen said.

"It's a passion project. So you don't have tens of thousands of dollars to pour into it when you get shut down," Jackson said.

Ironic too that the group of venues who are used to flying under the radar are now part of the center of attention for the city.

"The city wants to support it because it's kind of this whole message about arts and culture in Sacramento, and now would be a really good time to support these, sort of fringe-art spaces," Jackson said.

"And if we create low-barrier spaces that allow them to do what they do, we are going to all be better off for it," Hansen said.