Nonprofit bar opens in Albuquerque

Posted at: 07/10/2013 6:49 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

ArtBar by Catalyst Club, is the first nonprofit bar in Albuquerque.

In order to get into the bar, people have to pay to become members. For thirty dollars you can get access to the bar for an entire year.

The purpose of the bar is to fund grants for nonprofits geared toward the arts and each year members will choose which nonprofits they want to give the money to.

"We're very excited about this project because we get to support vital arts organizations in the community," said Co-Founder Julia Mandeville.

And they've been getting a lot of support from the community.

"We sold our first 50 founding memberships in just 25 hours in December," she said.

They almost have 300 members and hope that number keeps climbing.

ArtBar has already selected six non-profit organizations to offer grants. One of those organizations, 516 Arts, teaches arts education in their museum style gallery. They think this is an inventive way to get people to support the arts.

"Everyone seems to have money for drinking and if they love the arts, they may not have the money to contribute, but they go out drinking so this way their drinking can support the arts," said Suzanne Sbarge, executive director of 516 Arts.

Members also get rental privileges for the bar, voting rights for the next grant recipients, and their names are mentioned on the website.