Sacramento’s Art Spaces Under Increased Scrutiny

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SACRAMENTO -- Panama Pottery may not look like it, but it's undergoing a transformation.

"We're OK with the city telling us what will keep us safe, we were OK with that. We were just a little disappointed in the timeline," said David Davis, general manager of Panama Pottery.

Home to about 30 artists, Panama Pottery closed its doors last month after code enforcement officials determined the building, which is more than 100 years old, unsafe and inadequate. Problems included the electrical system and the lack of exits on the property.

"We're just taking them one at a time and checking them off the list," Davis said.

Davis told FOX40 Panama Pottery is currently working with an architect firm, along with the city, to get the building back up to code and hopefully, within six months time, reopen to allow local artists the space to create.

"A little bit different in that we won't be doing any events for the public. It's just something that is not in the cards right now," Davis said.

Both Panama Pottery and the Red Museum, another art collaborative, have recently been shut down by the city. Some believe the deadly Ghost Ship fire in Oakland last year increased scrutiny on unsanctioned venues all over the state including Sacramento.

City leaders say the goal is safety, but they want the art community to know they also have their support.

"I think the city is starting to realize they've got an obligation to the citizens of Sacramento to tap into this," Davis said.

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