Friday, May 4, 2012

Dinnerware Moves Into New Building

A new phase of Dinnerware's history begins today with the move into the vacant building at 425 W. Sixth Street. This building has been unused for at least 4 years. The Dinnerware team will begin cleaning it up this weekend, patching walls, replacing lightbulbs, repainting the walls. Another fixer upper. That's what the arts does. We bring life where conventional commercial enterprise stumbles. We hope to be in gallery operation by June 1st, 2012.

In the meantime, we'll open the new Downtown Food Court with some of our favorite mobile kitchens. The Food Court will create income for the gallery, attract people to the site, and bring the area back to life.

I'm talking about the triangle that is the new Dinnerware, the Splinter Brothers Warehouse, and Wildcat Storage. The triangle is an interesting one: Sixth Street becomes St. Mary's, or is it the other way around? Main Ave transitions itself over the train tracks in a weird way. The train is rumbling by on the east angle. IH-10 streams through on the west side. And on the south side of the triangle, Granada goes to the State and Federal buildings, Main Ave goes into the Presidio Neighborhood to the Tucson Museum of Art, City Hall, County building, and Sixth Street goes to 4th Ave and the University.

The new Dinnerware Artspace will be different than anything we've done before.

A new mix of theme exhibitions, food, ceramics, music, AND revitalization via these mediums.

We've started a Facebook page called "Popuphood Tucson" modeled after Pophood Oakland, which is a revitalization project that takes underused commercial spaces and turns them into people attracting sites that helps an area, and not just that site. For instance, The Food City on Ft. Lowell at First Ave. Next to it are a number of vacant spaces. Businesses have tried to make a go of it there, but without success. They don't last long. A new approach is needed at a site like that, which will help the 40 or so other businesses in that immediate area, and the origin site as well. It's a rebuilding process to help people think of an area in a different way. That's where change begins. That's what we'll do at 425 W. Sixth Street to start.

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