The Rural We: Linda Mussmann
Claudia Bruce and Linda Mussmann
Time and Space Limited has been a haven for artistic and cultural energy in Hudson for over 25 years. TSL’s co-founders and co-directors Claudia Bruce and Linda Mussmann turned the old factory on Columbia Street into a destination to experience vital works from underrepresented and emerging artists as well as classic art films and high-definition broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera. TSL is also a community center and does everything from host children’s programs to organize protests for progressive causes. They’ve stirred things up over the years in Hudson with their unique brand of political activism, but those who know them see Mussmann and Bruce as unconditionally openhearted and passionately open minded. Here, Mussmann tells us about the drive they still have to further TSL’s mission and the quarter century it took to get where they are.
In 1989, there was a big storm over the censorship of Mapplethorpe in the national museum in Washington, which resulted in the National Endowment for the Arts censoring artists it funded. In New York City at the time, we were one of four theaters that gave our money back rather than sign a censorship clause. That was really a wake-up call that Claudia and I should figure out another way to survive.
There were a lot of visual arts in Hudson but there weren’t any full-time art centers, running movies and putting on performances. That was the vacuum we thought we could fill. Plus, we wanted to do serious stuff, thoughtful, challenging stuff.
Including the community has been one of our main agendas and I think we were pretty successful at making sure everyone got a piece of what we were doing. It’s still a mom and mom kind of place. We are still very much into the daily operations of programing. We are here, we answer the phones, and we care for people.
TSL is a reflection of Claudia and me, together. It’s a 40-plus year journey. It’s been amazing and I think the qualities that Claudia has, what I have, and the relationship of how they work together is really how we’re able to sustain TSL. It’s a lot of intuitive thinking and being open. There’s a lot of humor and fun. It’s lots of fun here at TSL. We also still do theater pieces together, so there’s still working and training together.
The community and this place are tied together in a really interesting knot, and Claudia’s and my passion for one another is the great sense of caring at the center of this thing that sustains itself.