Urban ReThink, the community space that has hosted civic and creative events for the past two years in the Thornton Park area, will soon close its doors.
Julia Young, executive director of the Urban ReThink Foundation, said the organization will be closing the location at 625 E. Central Blvd., Orlando on Oct. 1.
"After more than two years of providing shared workspace, meeting rooms, and free cultural event programming, the Foundation's executive committee has determined that closing the Thornton Park space is a necessary and responsible use of its donor and grant funding," said Young. She noted that the foundation would continue to operate its literary programs Burrow Press and Page 15, and also to pursue non-site-specific public programs such as its Super Joy Riders community service bike ride that launched last month.
"Really, the decision was just an overhead problem," said Young. "We had great support in terms of the community, and our programs were bigger and better than they've ever been. But we just thought it would be better to kind of use that funding to invest in the people and the ideas that we have rather than into the overhead."
Urban ReThink began life as the Urban Think bookstore, which operated for nine years before closing in 2010. It reopened a year later as the home of the Urban ReThink Foundation, a coworking space that also hosted civic speaking engagements, avant-garde concerts and literary events such as the prose reading "There Will Be Words." The schedule of those events will continue through September, and Young says she hopes to continue working with community partners that host events at the space.
"All efforts are going to be made to retain staff through the transition and beyond," said Young, referring to programming director Brendan O'Connor and operations manager Shaina Anderson.
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