Construction is expected to begin this summer on Akron Soul Train, a residential artists’ village in downtown Akron’s Northside District, using shipping containers, rail cars and other structures.
The program will recruit artists in residence, who will be paid to create art and conduct educational workshops, culminating in an exhibit or performance.
“We will give (artists) a place to stay, a place to work and funds for a specific amount of time to create art,” says Creative Conductor/Creative Director Amy Mothersbaugh. “At the end of that fellowship, we will display and sell and promote their art.”
The project also will give residents a chance to look at the artistic process up close and personal.
The Northside District has a rich history in jazz music and arts and culture, and Mothersbaugh hopes this project will tie together the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath, Summit Metroparks and other nearby attractions. “We’ve really been talking about about being a destination location, not one of the blips along the way, where you come visit and then you leave,” she says. “We want opportunities so everyone’s kids will stay in Akron.”
Akron Soul Train also is a Knight Foundation Arts Challenge winner, whose funds have been matched locally by funders like Akron Community Foundation, GAR Foundation and Burton D. Morgan Foundation. For info, visit http://akronsoultrain.org.