By Meredith Cohn
The Baltimore Sun
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “Made in Baltimore” is a program supported by the city’s Office of Sustainability that brands, supports and helps market locally made goods. The program staffs and runs the shop and keeps a percentage of sales.
The Baltimore Sun
Some workers arranged crafts, clothes and toys on tables and racks as others put the final touches on the “Made in Baltimore” sign outside the pop-up shop that will open Friday on North Avenue.
This is the sixth time the city-backed operators will showcase goods made by city artisans and entrepreneurs, and this year the storefront will remain open for six months and perhaps permanently — a commitment representing recent progress in luring tenants to spots along this once-neglected commercial corridor.
“No question the arts community is powering this,” said Ellen Janes, executive director of the Central Baltimore Partnership, which has led efforts by a host of arts groups, as well as other academic, neighborhood, business, government and nonprofit organizations that have invested more than $133 million in the past five years in revitalization projects around this stretch of North Avenue.
Janes acknowledges the corridor in the geographic center of Baltimore City has a ways to go with barriers such as hold-out or absentee landlords, expensive renovations needed for long-vacant buildings and other problems related to urban decay. The corridor is part of the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, which has seen investment before only to stall.
This time several major anchors have opened, bringing growing numbers of creative people and consumers to the avenue, returning it to wider use and helping change the perception of its safety.
The Maryland Institute College of Art moved graduate programs to a building there. Motor House is where the artist commissioned to paint Michelle Obama’s portrait has a studio along with other artists, nonprofits and performers. There is also the Centre Theatre, where MICA and Johns Hopkins University film students train and Impact Hub Baltimore provides collaborative work space for the civic minded.