Turn up the PRESSURE!
Updated: Apr 23, 2018
As happens with a great deal of tragedies, when the press coverage dies down, so does the social outrage/enthusiasm for activism. Don't feel bad, or ashamed, or anything like that - it's just what happens in an age where information arrives via firehose.
April 9, 2018 Christopher and Sarah filed an appeal of the initial judgement. As of this post, they have not heard anything back from the Memphis courts. Also, Aparium and their representation have had some out-of-court discussions with Christopher and Sarah's legal team about negotiating a settlement. (I would be remiss if I did not openly acknowledge the group of concerned citizens who were able to make this happen at no additional cost to the family.)
Although the details of these discussions have not been released for public review, there has not been any sort of settlement. Needless to say, Aparium has not come to the table with anything that could possibly be interpreted as "the right thing."
So, here is a fairly condensed list of quick actions and links you can use to help out when you have a moment. If you have 30 seconds to post a review of your latte on Facebook, or snap a pic of your new shoes on Instagram, you have ample time to join in the fight for fairness and the equitable treatment of working artists.
Show your support for Memphis artists, and ask the Aparium Hotel Group to give Christopher Reyes back the home he has owned for the last 25 Years.
As Christopher and Sarah are not currently allowed to continue business as usual - both professional and personal - nor should Aparium. Disruption to the lives of the artists that make Memphis the thriving creative community it is, can be met with disruption to the falsehood of "local focus" Aparium openly markets.
Post reviews, and share your comments on what this group means, or will never mean, to Memphis. (Keep it classy, and factual - know the difference between a concerned citizen and an Internet troll.)
Please note that travel sites (like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Kayak) often review and remove reviews that do not contain details of your stay. You can most easily utilize these if you've actually had an experience in the hotel(s).
If you're feeling particularly creative, you can review the posts by Aparium and The Madison Hotel for partner organizations who are tagging them, and share your story with those entities as well.
Christopher and Sarah have put decades of investment into the Memphis community, and their legal bills are mounting. Additionally, the original judgement for the Aparium Group put them on the line for an additional $102,000 for "future improvements" to a space the Aparium currently has NO plans to renovate. If you can find it in your heart to skip a latte or two this week, please send some green vibes.
Share this site, the news coverage, the petition, the legal fund - ESPECIALLY with your contacts from the cities where Aparium has other properties. If they have so callously flaunted their lack of business ethics in Memphis, they will do it in other cities.
Press, city officials, arts organizations, community activists, tour managers - tell them what Aparium is up to.
You don't need to go so far as to create Google Alerts, but being "in the know" helps Christopher and Sarah, AND you. Join the "Stand For Creatives" Facebook group for the latest news on events and activities designed to bolster support for the fair treatment of working artists, and the preservation of the enhancements they make to local culture.
This situation impacts Christopher and Sarah the hardest, but speaks to a broader, nationwide dysfunction in the perceived economic value of creatives in an urban environment.
Stand up, speak up, show up.