Dry River Radical Resource Center opened in November of 2005. It was first located at 657 W. St. Mary’s Road in a row of warehouse spaces. After 8 months the landlord(Peach Properties) raised our rent by $200, probably hoping to cash in on the big dreams presented by the downtown revitalization project.
At that point we found another space just around the corner at 740 N. Main Ave. We began working on the space in June and reopened in July of 2006. Though there have been some ups and downs, strikes and gutters, Dry River has been thriving since opening day.
Dry River is an anarchist collective. There is no owner, no managers, no bosses. Everyone is responsible as no single person is responsible. We make decisions using a consensus process that works for us, meaning that there is no majority vote, nobody gets more of a say than anybody else. We decide together on what we all think will work best regarding major decisions.
We are working to create space that is free from oppression. We want people to feel good and welcome when they come to Dry River. We do not want language or behavior that is racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. in this space. In a world that is generally dominated by males, white supremacy and hetero-sexist attitudes we are pushing to open up space that openly rejects and confronts these attitudes of “normalcy”. As a collective we discuss and implement new ideas to do this better but we are not perfect.
We are donation-based and volunteer run. No one will be turned away from any event or resource due to a lack of money. The rent does have to get paid and sometimes there is a need to replace or repair equipment. So yes, we like to see donations getting dropped in the bucket. We have also started offering more things by donation such as at Circle A Cafe on Thursday, and we just recently printed up some Dry River T-shirts which we are offering for a pretty small donation. No collective members ever get paid to be there. The people you see staffing open hours, shows and other events are there because they want to see things happening without it being contingent on you paying enough to make it “worth their time”.
There are many aspects to Dry River. During open hours we offer a book and zine library, a free store, computers and hangout space. Often times there are projects or fun things happening during open hours as well. People play music, work on crafts, play games and who knows what else. Besides these resources, there are free classes, film screenings, live music, speakers and numerous types of other events.
Dry River Collective is ever-changing. We constantly have new people getting involved as well as people becoming less or uninvolved for various reasons. No one person represents Dry River. And nothing we think or do is written in stone. We have a million great ideas that we don’t have time or energy for and welcome new ideas as well. We welcome folks to get involved anytime.