At Mt. Vernon and 17th Avenue you’ll notice some unique structures in the midst of the historic King-Lincoln District. Standing out from the standard red-brick buildings, re-purposed shipping containers are being placed in a formerly vacant parcel owned by the Columbus Land Bank. As part of the city’s Parcels to Places program, managed by the Neighborhood Design Center, the Maroon Arts Group is creating an innovative space to incubate art and purvey local foods.
The Maroon Arts Group (MAG) is a collective of creatives who have galvanized to develop and provide a platform for conscious art centered around the preservation and promotion of cultures of African descent. One of the shipping containers will serve as storage, while another will become a rotating gallery of community artists. In efforts to further our mission and enrich the Columbus area art community, the MAG is implementing the Movement Pursuing Arts, Commerce + Community (MPACC). This is an innovative endeavor that supports local artists of all genres, engages the community at large, and brings a wealth of social and economic commerce to the district.
The third shipping container will be occupied by Willowbeez Soulveg, a pop-up offering at The Hills downtown market and caterer. In the future, you can visit the 925 Mt. Vernon Avenue location for a more permanent offering of vegan soul food.
Along with the re-used shipping containers, MAG will produce events to support the King-Lincoln District, including two larger street-style community festivals for the opening and closing of the season for the gallery, and programming consisting of artist development workshops, writing residency, theatrical production, gallery showings and interactive arts experiences.
Parcels to Places is made possible through a partnership between the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, City of Columbus, Columbus Foundation, and the Affordable Housing Trust.