MARYLAND

Government Shutdown 2013: Glen Echo Park shut down, arts affected

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GLEN ECHO, Md. (WJLA) - The carousel is still non-functioning, the barriers are still in place, and Glen Echo Park in Maryland appears to be frozen in time. It is stuck right where it was at the beginning of this month when it fell victim to the government shutdown.

"I'd just like to get back to my studio and work," said painter Jordan Bruns.

Bruns is the Artist-in-Residence here at Glen Echo Park, and from a distance, he can see the tower where his studio is located. He is locked out of it until the shutdown is over.

“I don't work for the government, I'm an artist," he said. "Artists don't work for the government, yet it's infringing upon what I do and my livelihood. I have a wife and children at home for whom I am the sole provider right now."

The park receives no federal money, but it is located on property owned by the National Park Service. The closure has cost the Park more than $300,000 thus far, and County Executive Ike Leggett says that on Friday morning, local authorities will take down the barriers and reopen the park.

“We will pay for the trash pick-up that comes in, and the security if need be in the park," he said. "There's no charge to the federal government. We're utilizing county funds and we're utilizing this in order to ensure that our vendors can continue to operate."

The Puppet Company is also located at Glen Echo, and as a result of the shutdown, has had to cancel a dozen shows so far. In an average year, about 80,000 people attend the company’s performances.

“Every week that we're shut down diminishes cuts down a lot on our income. We're a non-profit organization and we work on a very close margin," explained one puppeteer.

When the shutdown took place in 1995, volunteers collected trash and kept the park running -- but they haven't been able to do that this time.

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