$86,000 “Spruce-up” Grants Awarded to Station North Arts and Entertainment District Projects, Jan. Through June:
Central Baltimore Partnership Collaborates with the Deutsch Foundation to Fund 7 Creative Neighborhood Projects
BALTIMORE— From January through June, community organizations, artists and stakeholders, many with university and public partnerships, will implement seven creative neighborhood improvement projects in Charles North, Greenmount West and Barclay communities in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District totaling $86,000 thanks to an investment by the Robert W Deutsch Foundation and managed by the Central Baltimore Partnership (CBP). The 7 projects have a total cost of $177,854, all with substantial matching and in-kind funds from a plethora of sources. The Spruce-up program is providing grants to address priority community issues and high impact opportunities fulfilling recommendations from community master plans and employing and engaging artists, neighborhood residents and other stakeholders to improve the quality of life for residents and increase the customer profile of the arts district.
Joe McNeely, executive director of CBP, shared, “The Spruce-up projects reveal the creativity and vision of our Station North partners. They all contribute to the growing momentum for the broad revitalization that the Station North communities are experiencing. We couldn’t be more excited to see these projects be implemented in such a quick turnaround!”
The wide-range and scale of projects were selected based on their immediate visual impact on the environment through short-term projects. The Grants Selection Review Committee was composed of the following dedicated local and city-wide stakeholders: Charles North Community Association, New Greenmount West Community Association, Station North Arts and Entertainment, Inc., Charles Village Community Benefits District, Greater Homewood Community Corporation, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Neighborhood Design Center and Ziger/Snead Architects.
The selected grant projects offer a range of approaches, partners and scale, which showcase the area’s diversity and desire to take collective action in the continuing revitalization of Station North. While the funds to implement the plans arrived recently, the 7 projects have been thoroughly developed over recent years and now can be fully realized with local residents and artists over the next 6 months thanks to the Spruce-up grants.
Spruce-up Grant Projects
Total Project Investment: $177,854
Spruce-up Funded: $86,000
Activating Penn Station Plaza: Creating Baltimore’s Newest Public Space
Project Partners: Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc., Amtrak, Parking Authority of Baltimore City and the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Neighborhood Development
- A project linking Penn Station, Midtown and Station North together by creating a vibrant and comfortable public space on the Plaza at Penn Station. Colorful and functional seating, tables, plantings and shade structures will be installed and arts oriented programming will be provided by Station North in collaboration with adjacent community groups, University of Baltimore, MICA and others.
Beautifying a Gateway Intersection to Station North
Project Leader: Greater Greenmount Community Association
- The intersection of Greenmount Avenue and North Avenue is a major gateway into the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, and this grant will support the final phase of transforming an abandoned lot on the northwest corner of the intersection into an aesthetically-pleasing space through landscaping and art, known as the Greenmount-North Garden under the direction of local artist Emily C-D (MICA alumna).
Station North Fried Chicken – 1 W. North Avenue
Project Partners: Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc., with support from Baltimore Development Corporation, MICA and the Charles North Community Association’s Business Committee
- Station North is renovating a vacant restaurant space at the prominent intersection in the geographic center of Baltimore at N. Charles Street and North Avenue into office, gallery and theater space. The Spruce-up funding will support the interior and exterior improvements to the space creating an interim use for part of the Parkway Theater redevelopment, which will draw positive attention to the long-term redevelopment efforts and will create a flagship location to serve as visitor center for those new to the district.
Station North Koban Project
Project Partners: Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc., Midtown Community Benefits District
- Curators Michael Benevento (Current Gallery and MICA alumna), Chloe Gallagher (MICA Curatorial Practice MFA Candidate and Deana Haggag (City Arts’ Gallery CA Guest Curator and MICA Curatorial Practice MFA Candidate) will curate the a unique opportunity for artistic experimentation by transforming the vacant police koban at the corner of N. Charles Street and E. Lanvale Street with bi-monthly exhibitions throughout 2013. This project aims to serve the businesses of Charles North by drawing Penn Station Commuters north of the station into the neighborhood, and it aims to serve the residential population of Station North by providing another neighborhood asset where there is currently blight.
Historic St. Paul Park Renovations
Project Partners: Charles North Community Association (CNCA), Midtown Development Corp., and Midtown Community Benefits District
- Local residents are the driving force behind these park renovations whereby CNCA will work with Midtown bringing improved park amenities and improve the appearance and usability of this historic park based on responses from a community survey. The grant will support landscaping materials, seating, lighting and litter bins as well as a “call to artists” process for the painting of a mural on the south wall of the park, in coordination with Station North, that will complement the existing Open Walls Baltimore mural.
The Greenmount West Façade Improvement Project
Project Leader: New Greenmount West Community Association – Clean and Green Committee
- The Clean and Green team in Greenmount West will engage local residents and artists to improve the appearance of the dilapidated vacant city-owned properties along main thoroughfares in the neighborhood. The NGWCA Board will identify key locations and participate in a “call to artists” for the selection of an artistic curator and engaging local residents painting or stenciling boarded up windows as the canvases on the building.
North Avenue Big Belly Solar Waste System
Project Partners: Charles North Community Association (CNCA) – Business Committee, Midtown Community Benefits District, MICA and Center City, Inc.
- To combat the serious litter problem along one of Station North’s major corridors, CNCA’s Business Committee will oversee the installation of 4 Big Belly Compactors, a solar intelligent waste collection system. MICA and the North Avenue Market are also sponsoring this. This is a long-term plan for continued impactful reduction of debris in the neighborhood. This project will also provide an opportunity for local artists to design, brand, or exhibit work on the cans to heighten the visual impact of the arts district and contribute to the local character.
For interviews about Spruce-up or the Central Baltimore Partnership, please contact Joe McNeely, Executive Director, CBP, at 410-244-1775, 1800 N. Charles Street Suite 810 or visit http://www.centralbaltimore.org.
In the few years since it was formed, the Central Baltimore Partnership has begun a dramatic transformation of the area north of Penn Station. The Partnership marshals the vision, commitment, talent and resources of virtually every organization with a stake in the area: neighborhood organizations, non-profits, educational institutions, private businesses and city government agencies. These partner organizations have united for a comprehensive community development strategy in Central Baltimore – an area that is roughly bordered by the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus to the north, Mt. Royal Avenue to the south, Greenmount Avenue to the east and Fallsway to the west. The Partnership fosters the arts and sustainable development in healthy, transit-oriented neighborhoods at the center of the Baltimore region.