Columbus’s efforts to invigorate our city through the arts has caught the nation’s eye. In October, The Atlantic published two articles in its American Futures series commending the growth and revitalization of our own Franklinton neighborhood. In particular, The Atlantic journalist John Tierney recognized the sincerity in our city’s cooperative nature, a result of our big city scale but small city intimacy, and the close partnerships that business and government have cultivated over the last few years. According to Tierney, this is a “city that works,” and we at the Greater Columbus Arts Council couldn’t agree more.
Tierney found the successful re-branding of the Franklinton area as a Creative Community District—the Franklinton Arts District—especially compelling. Indeed, this step, central to the Franklinton Development Agency and Jim Sweeney’s revitalization plan, has been awarded the 2014 National Planning Excellence Award for Innovation in Economic Development & Planning by the American Planning Association. Alongside the tremendous contributions of Columbus Idea Foundry and the studios at 400 West Rich St, the Greater Columbus Arts Council is proud to be a part of this important neighborhood revitalization effort by funding aspects of Glass Axis’ move to Franklinton and our first Community Impact grant, Women Crafting Change.
On November 6, the Strongwater Gallery in Franklinton at 400 W. Rich Street opens the Big Local Arts Show, a take off on the Big Local Art Tent at the Arts Festival, showcasing local artists of all stripes displaying and selling their work. I hope that you’ll join the rest of Columbus by supporting the local arts and perhaps enjoy a bite to eat at Strongwater Food and Spirits. The Strongwater gallery will host the artists’ work through November.
Through our spirit of collaboration and partnership, Columbus is achieving the Herculean task of protecting the geographically vulnerable area of Franklinton and preserving its rich history as Columbus’s birthplace, as well as paving the way for a bright, vibrant cultural future along the shores of the Scioto.
— Tom Katzenmeyer
Keep up with Tom’s adventures on Twitter: @tomkatzenmeyer