Comics Issue 2019 | Features | Food

Church Business

Sanctuary Cafe was supposed to be a much-needed space for the marginalized, but it lasted just two years. What went wrong?

Katie Hill

When K. was offered a position as artist-in-residence and curator at Sanctuary Cafe, a coffee shop located inside of University Church, she was thrilled. It was the summer of 2018. K.—an artist and a parishioner at the Hyde Park church, who requested to be identified by her first initial so that her artworks would not be associated with this story—found herself in an Uber Pool with Martin McKinney and Ellen Lose, both managers at Sanctuary and fellow parishioners at the church. They recognized her from the congregation, and as they got to chatting about K.’s art, she realized they all shared a common vision: art not for art’s sake, but for the public good.