Local punk institution Charm City Art Space suddenly faces an uncertain future

Local DIY punk venue Charm City Art Space (CCAS) seems to be facing an uncertain future today as it discovered a surprising city notice pasted on the front of its 1731 Maryland Ave. location:

“To whom it may concern: notice is hereby given by the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals that it will hold a public hearing Tuesday November 17, 2015, at 5:00 P.M. in room 215, City Hall, on appeal No. 2015-379 for a permit to use the first floor as a tattoo studio on the premises located in a B-5-2 zoning district.”

CCAS has spent 13 years hosting all ages smoke- and alcohol-free shows for music fans of Baltimore, the whole time run by an ever-changing cadre of unpaid volunteers (including this writer, for a brief time and more than a decade ago). They had been planning to close temporarily for some much-needed repairs to the property by their landlord, the owner of neighboring restaurant Bottega (which itself has been closed recently, amid various rumors of moving), with a Nov. 11 show the last one booked before the hiatus.

But with this sign appearing, the temporary hiatus seems like it might be much more permanent—at least for this location. I spoke to Space volunteer Chris Belkas, who confirmed, “The impression everyone had was that we were going to move back sometime after those repairs would be completed.” He also confirmed that noticing the sign pasted on the property was the first any of the Space’s volunteers had heard of a tattoo parlor, or any new tenant, moving in.

City Paper attempted to contact the landlord for comment, without luck so far. As far as the CCAS members are concerned, they say they plan to continue on with the mission of the Space, though they are not sure what form that would take going forward, or where it would end up locating.

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