Water-main break damages Stumptown Art studio

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Nonprofit asks for help as Great Fish Challenge ends today

By DUNCAN ADAMS

Daily Inter Lake

The nonprofit Stumptown Art Studio in Whitefish suffered a blow earlier this week when the water pipe serving its Central Avenue building failed, flooding the basement and requiring an expensive excavation and repair outside.

Melanie Drown, executive director of Stumptown Art Studio, said the water-line break and the work to fix it will cost the organization $10,200.

Teachers arriving Sunday to prepare for Monday classes first discovered water in the basement, Drown said. The city was alerted Monday and repair work commenced and was completed Tuesday, she said.

“The city and a local plumber investigated on Monday and determined that the leak originated at the pipe belonging to the owner of the building,” which is Stumptown, Drown said.

She said the unanticipated expense is disheartening. It rears just as the Whitefish Community Foundation’s collaborative Great Fish Community Challenge is drawing to a close.

“It’s bad timing,” Drown said, noting that Stumptown had hoped to use funds received through the fundraising challenge for classes and other efforts designed to engage and immerse the community in art.

“We are now back in business and ready to serve our community, but we need help,” Drown said.

The organization and supporters rallied this summer to replace the building’s air-conditioning and furnace. AirWorks of Kalispell donated the furnace, Drown said.

“We are aware of donor fatigue and hate to keep asking for help, but we have been hit hard,” she said.

Established in 1995, Stumptown Art Studio describes itself as “a place where children and adults may come to express their inherent creativity” and as a vehicle for learning about art and its potential to enrich individuals and communities.

For more information about the Great Fish Community Challenge, which ends at 5 p.m. Sept. 14 (today), go to greatfishchallenge.org.

Drown said donors wanting to help Stumptown should designate it as the intended recipient.

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