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The WASH Project

593 Grant St., Buffalo, New York USA

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The humble '''West Side Value Laundromat''' on Massachusetts Avenue is hardly the place you'd expect to be a reliable clearinghouse for information on community cultural happenings, let alone the venue for art studio space, a small library, and a wide gamut of artistic and cultural events. Yet that's exactly what the WASH Project (the acronym stands for "Westside Art Strategy Happenings") consists of. Owner Zaw Win, one of the West Side's growing legion of Burmese refugees who boasts a long history of political activism in his home country, teamed up in 2012 with local activist Barrett Gordon and financial benefactors including '''Houghton College''' and the local chapter of '''AmeriCorps''' to turn his laundromat into a beehive of community cultural life where the accent, not surprisingly, is on the diverse patchwork of ethnic groups that have forged a cohesive community on the West Side. At the WASH Project's small gallery, you can peruse monthly changing exhibitions of work by local artists, attend classes and workshops on a wide range of artistic subjects, create your own masterpiece in the "Creative Spin" studio (chalk art on the sidewalk outside the building is popular during the warmer months) — and maybe throw in a load of laundry while you're at it. '''''NOTE: The WASH Project has temporarily moved to a new location in Grant-Ferry, where it will remain until fall 2018 while renovations on their original Massachusetts Avenue location are ongoing. Laundry facilities are available across the street at The Laundry Spot. The address and directions given in this listing are for the temporary location.'''''

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