Warwick Art Museum needs new wheelchair lift

By: Liz Tufts

ltufts@abc6.com

 

The Warwick Museum of Art is free to the public, but its been forced to turn people away after vandals destroyed the only way for the disabled to get
in.

Carol Sapcoe has a list of health problems and needs a wheelchair to get around, but the one thing that helped ease her pain were the moments she spent inside the Warwick Museum of Art. “I like going to the events, seeing the arts, I take classes
there, ” says Sapcoe.

Carol hasn't been able to visit the museum since last
year. The handicap wheelchair lift is locked and out of
service since vandals destroyed it last year.

Deborah Mercer is the president of the board for the Warwick Art Museum. She says the city's seniors and disabled are being turned
away. “We can't reach out them they way we want,  people who
attend art workshops who are in wheelchairs need to be physically lifted up the
steps, ” says Mercer.

The museum launched the “Arts For All” campaign
last year, hoping to raise money to replace the lift So far, they've received a 10 thousand dollar grant from
the city. The new lift will cost 28-thousand dollars.

To make matters worse, many organizations that used to rent out the space have
pulled out all together. “We had a wedding cancel because they had some elderly
guests, another group needed a ramp, ” says Mercer.

Because the museum. is actively working on raising funds, the city says it's not in violation of any
codes. We also found out the city of Warwick owns the building and it's still unclear what their responsibility is in all
of this.

If you would like to donate money to the Warwick Museum of Art, head to their website http://www.warwickmuseum.org/