On behalf of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) and Downtown Chambersburg Inc. (DCI), we would like to sincerely apologize for a mistaken application of the Chamber’s advertising policy that resulted in the removal of artwork from The Foundry Art Market’s (The Foundry) display window.
For those of you who may not be aware, in early June the Chamber received a complaint related to canvases on display at The Foundry. The Chamber staff, who responded to the complaint, misinterpreted the application of the Chamber’s advertising policy and instructed The Foundry to remove the artwork. In response to an outpouring of heartfelt concern from community members and business owners, the Chamber and DCI leadership were alerted to the situation and acted promptly. The organizations have voted to formally exempt The Foundry from the application of this policy. We apologize for any negativity or feelings of animosity that were experienced before this came to the attention of Chamber and DCI leaders.
The Foundry is and will continue to be an environment that cultivates inclusion and freedom of artistic expression. Although funded by the Chamber through DCI, the Chamber recognizes The Foundry as a “member” instead of a controlled organization, consistent with the expressed goal of having The Foundry become an independent organization. The Foundry, therefore, is recognized as an organization that will make its own decisions regarding its expression.
The Chamber remains focused on creating an environment that enhances the quality of life for everyone in Franklin County and that allows our members to flourish and prosper. Our affiliate, DCI, is equally supportive of the Chamber’s mission as well as their mission to revitalize the downtown core for all people. We believe that when businesses recognize and embrace the value of differences, they are better able to create value, serve customers and succeed and grow. By expanding opportunity to more individuals, businesses help lift up communities and contribute immeasurably to the health, prosperity and competitiveness of our community.
We appreciate the concern and thoughtfulness expressed by our community, and the Chamber and DCI boards are actively reviewing their policies to ensure they align with their mission and goals while cultivating inclusion for all.