Monday, August 20, 2007
For Immediate Release
For more information:
Toledo, OH - The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo has established preliminary boundaries for the first of several arts zones in the Greater Downtown area. The proposed zone will link existing artist studios and galleries and other arts venues in a 22-block area in our Downtown through streetscape improvements, strategic development of artist live/work space, improved signage and marketing efforts, and an arts wayfinding system.
The concept for the "arts zone" grew out of a new program undertaken by the ACGT during the last year at the request of City of Toledo Mayor Carleton S. Finkbeiner. The Live Work Create Toledo program is designed to centralize and elevate the visibility of the local and regional artist population, arts organizations, and cultural assets and to attract and retain artists/creatives to Toledo to become permanent residents of our community. The program has established goals to:
In establishing the proposed boundaries of the first arts zone, ACGT identified existing artist concentrations that could be connected with strategic development of live/work space, streetscape improvements, and marketing initiatives. According to Executive Director Marc Folk, ACGT plans to repeat the economic success stories of other arts neighborhoods, such as the Short North District in Columbus. By increasing the visibility and density of artists and the arts within the area, and providing physical and visual connections between non-contiguous arts venues, buildings and spaces, ACGT will create a destination community within our Downtown. ACGT envisions that this will be the first of as many as three to four arts zones that the ACGT will propose to the community. Other potential zones include the Adams Street Corridor reaching toward the Collingwood Art Center and the Monroe Street corridor reaching toward the Toledo Museum of Art.
The 22-block area of the newly established zone is bounded by the Maumee River and a Metropark (currently under development) to the south and Interstate 75 and the Amtrak station to the west. The northern boundary is defined by the Secor Hotel and Fifth Third Field; and the Erie Street Market. Within the area are three existing artist collectives: Olive Street Studios; the Morris Street Studios; and the Secor Building. There are several other galleries and studios in the neighborhood and two planned developments of five artist live/work spaces each.
Last March ACGT hosted ArtSpace, a national non-profit which develops artist live/work communities of 30-50 units per building, and Boston-based ArtistLink, to visit Toledo to assess the potential for development of a major live/work community within our Greater Downtown area. ArtSpace has released their preliminary feasibility report, which indicates their assessment that Toledo may well be a "very good candidate" for expanded live/work initiatives.because of the strength of the existing artist market and numerous other arts-related strengths.
ACGT will release the full text of the ArtSpace and ArtistLink report, a map of the preliminary boundaries of the first arts zone, and discuss next steps, in a press conference scheduled for Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 1:00 p.m., at the Secor Building, 425 Jefferson Street, home to 19 working artist studios. Mayor Carleton S. Finkbeiner, and ACGT Executive Director Marc Folk will be available for comments. In addition, John Stinson, representing Key Bank as a supporter of the program, will make comments.
The Live Work Create Toledo program has been funded through public and private partnerships. The following individuals, organizations and businesses have committed funding to the program: Key Bank, National City Bank, the Frederick S. Upton Foundation, the Toledo Board of Realtors and NORIS Board, The Andersons, Lucas County Commissioners, University of Toledo Urban Affairs Center, City of Toledo, and numerous individual donors. The Arts Commission is supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council.
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