Celebrate Art Works Now Groundbreaking Ceremony July 18th!


Hyattsville, MD – Art Works Now is pleased to announce the groundbreaking of their new home located at 4800 Rhode Island Avenue, Hyattsville, MD in the Gateway Arts District. The event, which takes place Saturday, July 18 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Through a dynamic public-private partnership between Art Works Now and Pizzeria Paradiso, Art Works Now will rehabilitate a long-abandoned florist shop and greenhouse on a blighted corner of the Gateway Arts District. The partnership’s collective goal is to support economic development and build a creative meeting place that enriches the entire community. At 4800 Rhode Island Avenue, Art Works Now will triple their space, continuing their commitment to providing community-focused arts programming.

Art Works Now Founder and Executive Director Barbara Johnson adds that, “This project is an actualization of the Arts District planners’ intentions—the establishment of a public-private partnership in order to revitalize the Rhode Island Avenue corridor through arts related economic development while developing the community’s creative potential through arts programming.”

Art Works Now’s private partner, Pizzeria Paradiso, will add another sit-down restaurant to the growing number of dining options in Hyattsville. Says chef/owner Ruth Gresser, “As a longtime supporter of the arts, Pizzeria Paradiso is very excited to be part of this project. We look forward to serving the Gateway Arts District and becoming a member of the community.”

The event will include a ceremonial groundbreaking with Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III and Maryland State Delegate William A. Campos along with several other County leaders, in attendance. A fun-filled morning of art activities will follow the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the occasion.

You’re coming, right? Southside Music & Skateboarding Series returns July 18th

SouthsideFlier2015,PRINTCrackWood Productions is pleased to announce we’ve partnered with the Brentwood Arts Exchange and The United Recreational Skateboarders Club to bring back

The Southside Music & Skateboarding Series Saturday, July 18th starting at NOON in the Mt. Rainier Skate Park (corner of Otis & Wells in Mt. Rainier, MD–across the street from Otis Street Art Projects & The Washington Glass School)

Live music by Lee Blackwood & Graham starts at NOON with DJ sets by Honest Lee, Rob One, & InnerLoop throughout​

Skateboarding Competition

  • registration: noon until 12:40 pm, FREE TO COMPETE
  • free skate all morning until 12:45 pm
  • competition: 12:45-4:00 pm

Guest Judges: The DC Wheels

  • competition categories TBA

CASH PRIZES awarded at the end of the competition

Please visit our facebook event page, and click “Going” here 

really great Southside videos here and more about us here

ALL ARE WELCOME: come and shred, or bring your lunch and watch/listen/dance 

The Southside Music & Skateboarding Series is produced by CrackWood Productions in partnership with The Brentwood Arts Exchange and the United Recreational Skateboarders Club, with support from the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission, The Maryland State Arts Council, and the City of Mt. Rainier. Special thanks to our private donors. 

CrackWood Productions:

J.J. McCracken, Artist & Co-Director, Red Dirt Studio, Mt. Rainier, MD

Marc Blackwood, Musician, Brentwood, MD

Special Announcement: Presenting the Art Lives Here Magazine

In the winter of 2012 I was approached to be a part of Art Lives Here. Stuck in a lonely office doing database entry for a worthy, but not arts-related, non-profit I jumped at the offer. In January 2013, Art Lives Here launched.

Tamara Wellons during Beauty Built on Love

Tamara Wellons during Beauty Built on Love

Art Lives Here has allowed me the privilege of getting to know a few of the great minds and creative talents that make the Gateway Arts District (GAD) tick. I’ve been in artists homes & studios, lingered in administrative offices of community development corporations and arts organizations, attended meetings, presentations, reflections, coffees, happy hours, openings, receptions, and more. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of incredible arts opportunities the GAD offers.

Out of the hundreds of artists and organizations that live and work in the Gateway Arts District, Art Lives Here has only been able to touch a small section. There’s so much more Art Lives Here has yet to touch. However as the momentum continued, more and more artists and organizations began to seek out Art Lives Here and become a part of a powerful brand which is owned by all of us.

Preparing to march the Mt. Rainier Circle Better Block Night 2014

Preparing to march the Mt. Rainier Circle Better Block Night 2014

At its most basic, Art Lives Here sought to fund and assist artists with powerful ideas to enact change in their hometown of the Gateway Arts District through their work. Through a request for proposals process, we had the opportunity to see just how big these artists can dream. Some proposals were for small changes that would create big impact, others sought to fulfill a big picture vision with little thought to executive details. At the end of the day, projects were chosen by a panel of representatives based on artistic merit, sustainability, and viability.

ALH logo1Art Lives Here also funded a small but powerful communications team, led by Michelle Lee of Mingus Communications who first suggested “Art Lives Here”. Under Lee’s direction, a recent graphic design graduate, Justin Bost, was hired to create the Art Lives Here logo and style guide. Colors, fonts and arrow styles and sizes were chosen with a careful deliberation to represent the powerful grassroots movement of artists who were dedicated and inspired to do their work in this community of the Gateway Arts District.

Throughout the next two years, Lee leveraged resources and worked with the creative minds of the Gateway Arts District to come up with and execute some pretty spectacular brand strategies. These included, but were not limited to, developing a style guide for the brand, setting up free artist photoshoots an creating a robust and active social media presence.

Trans Action, Photo by Shaun Schroth

Trans Action, Photo by Shaun Schroth

One of the most rewarding experiences during my time with Art Lives Here was organizing and participating in the Gateway Arts District photo shoots. In an effort to celebrate the core of the GAD, our creative ones, we kicked off a series of free photoshoots in July of 2014. What started as a thin response turned into a torrent of incredible artists. Touting instruments, paintings, costumes, jewelry, paintbrushes, pens, moleskin notebooks, books, antlers, and more, they rolled in to our photo shoots where they smiled, frowned, moved, grooved, grinned, laughed, and expressed themselves. Local photographers Matt Carl, Marketa Ebert, Evan Wilder, Krista Schlyer, Charles Steck and Valerie Phillips helped us photograph over 125 artists in locations throughout the GAD. After each photoshoot we were able to share the high-quality digital portraits with the participating artists for their use.

Arts-friendly local development company, Landex, partnered with Art Lives Here to display many of these portraits in a fence-wrap on the site of the future Studio 3807 located next to the Gateway Arts Center on Rhode Island Avenue. Tweets, Facebook posts and emails came rolling in with photos of artists posing with their larger than life portraits. Artist and photographer Matt Carl used the portraits to create a mosaic poster and Lee and local graphic designer Courtnye Koivisto included all the portraits in the Art Lives Here magazine.

I am proud to present the result of months of work, planning, meeting, and detailed work: the Art Lives Here magazine.

Please download the PDF here: https://artlivesheremd.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/alh-magazine-final.pdf

Many of the articles and bios were shortened for the print publication, you can read the in-depth versions here: https://artlivesheremd.wordpress.com/alh-report/

By Neena Narayanan, Art Lives Here Coordinator