August 4th, 2016
Pop Up Pod!
If you have driven through the intersection of 38th & Illinois Streets this summer, you’ve likely seen some unexpected activity. Artists, writers, musicians, knitters, puppet makers, to name a few, have been setting up shop to draw attention to the newly branded Maple Crossing, a Great Places 2020 neighborhood. The goal of Great Places 2020 is “to transform neighborhoods and spur urban revitalization” to help address problems like unemployment and poverty, obesity, low graduation rates, pollution, and population loss.
As part of this effort, the Harrison Center and City Gallery have teamed up with Great Places 2020 to draw attention to an area that has long been seen as a “drive through.” Improvements to nearby Tarkington Park, and new retail like Animation Art Studio, an art gallery and tattoo studio that held its grand opening just this week, are signs of that the neighborhood is coming back to life.
Now, a temporary pop-up storefront designed by Kris Swanson and built by our own Quincy Owens, has landed in the parking lot of the former Double 8 grocery at 39th & Illinois. And it is adding a flurry of activity to the area. This week, you can grab a free coffee at the pop-up between 7 and 9am, courtesy of the Harrison Center and Illinois Street Food Emporium or peruse an art show with work by Courtland Blade. On Tuesday, singer/songwriter group Lowland Hum performed a live set with a poetry reading by John Sherman and Chi Sherman later that evening. There have been knitting lessons, plein air painting sessions and even the fabrication of giant puppets.
The activity will continue throughout the month, so follow #MapleCrossing on twitter for updates. The excitement will culminate on August 27th at “38th and Shine,” when an attempt will be made to break a world record for most sparklers lit simultaneously in Tarkington Park. They are looking for volunteers! Check here for more information and to sign up. And keep an eye on Maple Crossing. Great things are happening!