Glen Echo Park Reopens

Glen Echo contra dancing Flickr pool photo by artescienza.Glen Echo Park is open on Thursday, the day after Congress moved a resolution to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling for three months.

The park, on National Park Service property, became the most visible effect of the government shutdown in the area. Earlier this week, Montgomery County officials said the county would open the park “in an act of civic disobedience” if the NPS didn’t by Friday morning.

The Glen Echo Park Partnership, a nonprofit that operates in the park with a group of theater companies, artists and others, said the NPS should have reopened the park as it did with similar operations in other national parks around the country.

All classes and programs will resume as scheduled and Adventure Theatre MTC’s “Goodnight Moon” will resume on Saturday. The Park’s puppet theater company will resume performances on Friday.

Glen Echo Partnership Executive Director Katey Boerner said the shutdown meant $300,000 in losses since it began on Oct. 1. She said another weekend of closures would have meant another $80,000 in losses.

At a press conference Tuesday, Boerner, government officials and artists at the park said the shutdown had already hurt their programming.

“We are losing not only our revenue, but I fear we are also losing a bit of our integrity because we have relationships with our students and our community,” said Michel Rubin, who runs the Glen Echo Glassworks studios. “What has happened so far, even if we reopen tomorrow we will be seeing the effects for a long time to come.”

County Executive Isiah Leggett said he was pleased the shutdown was over and Glen Echo was reopened. There are an estimated 70,000 federal workers who live in Montgomery County:

This shutdown never should have happened. It was bad politics and bad for business. And we should resolve — and work — to be sure it doesn’t happen again. The shutdown may be over but the uncertainty about a sequel will continue to adversely affect public and private spending and investment decisions. This undermines the considerable efforts and successes that I and the Council have had in making tough decisions during the Great Recession, boosting our own County reserves and laying the foundations for the County’s economic recovery and growth.

Leggett traveled to New York on Thursday with Council President Nancy Navarro to meet with Wall Street bond houses in an effort to preserve the county’s Triple-A bond rating.

Flickr photo by artescienza

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