Creative Life in the Gateway Arts District

Art Lives Here First Friday Re-cap!

Creative Life in the Gateway Arts District: Art Lives Here

IMG_1466What is Art Lives Here?

•Engaging citizens through performances and public art projects
•Pairing artists with downtown businesses to create pop-up performances and installations
•Starting an Innovation Fund to support creative business development.
•Establishing a downtown arts season and a seasonal visibility campaign for the Gateway Arts District.

Spring SeasonIMG_1433

•First Friday ALH Community Forum – Busboys and Poets, Hyattsville: March 1, 2013
•First Friday ALH Kick-Off – Busboys and Poets, Hyattsville: April 5, 2013
•Sweeping the Avenue – Neighborhood clean-ups April 13 – 14th, 2013
•The Better Block Project – April 26, 2013
•The Gateway 5k Run – Saturday April 27, 2013
•First Friday ALH Performance Series – Busboys and Poets, Hyattsville: May 3, 2013
•Opening Day, Mount Rainier Farmer’s Market – May 4, 2013
•Mount Rainier Historic Homes Tour – May 5, 2013
•Friday Flicks – Every Friday in May, 8:30pm at 33rd and Perry St.
•Gateway Arts District Open Studios – Saturday, May 11, 2013
•Mount Rainier Day – May 18, 2013, parade starts at 11:00am
•Citizen Paint Project – Date announced soon!

IMG_1417Core Values

•Big Tent – Everybody has a role and everybody looks good
•High Quality – Process and outcomes set new standards
•Plan Forward – Ongoing planning and evaluation is a matter of practice
•We Grow – Improves professional capacities all around
•Artist-Local-First – Look to local & creative community first for opportunities and resources
•Dynamic Accountability – Stay in touch, ask questions, give feedback, and do what you say
•Completion – Helps community move out of current holding pattern
•Document & Sustain – Informs our own future and contributes to the larger field
•Life Giving Not Soul Sucking – For us and for everybody!

Examples of creative placemaking in other communities funded by ArtPlace:

Wormfarm Institute of Sauk County

•CULTURESHED (kul’cher-shed)
–1. A geographic region irrigated by streams of local talent and fed by deep pools of human and natural history.
–2. An area nourished by what is cultivated locally.
–3. The efforts of writers, performers, visual artists, scholars, farmers and chefs who contribute to a vital and diverse local culture.
•“An evolving laboratory of the arts and ecology and fertile ground for creative work”

Wormfarm co-founders Donna Neuwirth and Jay Salinas: “We are very much in the thick of it- neither burned nor victorious. But if things continue to move forward both the risks and the rewards will increase.”

Community MusicWorks

•Community MusicWorks’ Gather is a monthly series of curated experiences combining exceptional musical performances with neighborhood-building activities, with a goal of drawing resources, people, and ideas to the economically challenged West End of  Providence.
•CMW’s Managing Director, Kimberly Young “we’re taking over a vacant storefront on Broad Street, and are programming a series of events in it in partnership with the community development group SWAP: Stop Wasting Abandoned Property.”

Our Idea: Based on the conviction that musicians can play an important public service role, Community MusicWorks has created an opportunity for professional musicians to build and transform their own urban community.

Comments from artists in their Art Lives Here proposals:IMG_1467

“What draws us to want to be part of Art Lives Here? Because we are already here!  We’ve lived in Mount Rainier and Hyattsville for more than 20 years.”

[Our group] is a soul, R&B, “body rollin” duo of women changing the heartbeats of music lovers one note at a time.

“We both live in the Gateway area and love the idea of Art Lives Here as a way of knitting the community together, fostering new connections between artists, and ourselves becoming community resources.”

“[our project] would provide a space in which songwriters could share the stories and process behind the songs they have written.”

If there is to be a theme beyond COMMUNITY MOVEMENT REVOLUTION, it would be created by the project participants.  In a nutshell, I see this as at least one or two dozen people (if not many more) convening at a certain point on a certain date at a certain time to distribute hoola hoops and spin down the sidewalks and streets.

Back in the days of Artmosphere Café, I played solo guitar for several months for their Saturday jazz brunch, but I have never had the opportunity to bring one of my groups to perform in Mount Rainier.

IMG_1428Better Block

•Building a small business audience with temporary creative opportunity
–Business can maintain operations
–Business or property owner signs off
–Work complete by Better Block Night
–Document before and after impact
•Partners: Gateway CDC and MRBA

Want to check out the ALH powerpoint presentation? It’s available to download HERE


About neenajoe

Joe’s Movement Emporium is a cultural arts hub that acts as a catalyst for creativity and economic opportunity for all through productions and programs in education, artist services and work readiness. Located in the town center of Mount Rainier, Maryland within the Prince George’s County Gateway Arts District, the organization supports and promotes creative projects of local artists and community groups. For additional information on programs and events, please visit

One comment on “Art Lives Here First Friday Re-cap!

  1. Pingback: Spend this weekend with Art Lives Here | ART LIVES HERE

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