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Letter: Castle needs to return to original mission

It’s time for The Echo Church and the ownership group of The Castle to develop an exit plan.

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This is good coverage of a difficult situation by Anne Halliwell. My position is that with more masked and vaxxed activities happening downtown, the building should return to its original intent.

While The Echo Church is a beloved new church and organization for many, it’s not appropriate for them to occupy a building that has received public funding and was intended to be a community arts and cultural center.

Naura Anderson and Scott Hoss have worked really hard to create The Castle, and Threshold Arts, and they stand ready to bring their magic to other projects. COVID affected their core work at The Castle just as it was really getting going, and it will only continue to get better as redevelopment sweeps north on Broadway. The city does not want to lose their expertise and elbow grease at The Castle, or anywhere else in Rochester.

Having a church, even a new and creative one, occupying the second floor changes the entire vibe of the building and block. It’s time for The Echo Church and the ownership group of The Castle to develop an exit plan. They still might book events there, but the church needs to find a privately funded home base now that we are cautiously and safely returning to ‘new normal’ business plans around town.

The Castle needs to return to its original mission as a public arts and community center, as well as a restaurant, event and performance space. It was never intended to be a long-term site for a religious organization.

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Anastasia Hopkins Folpe, Rochester

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Anastasia Hopkins Folpe

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