LuigART Makers Spaces

North Limestone Community Development Corporation / LexArts

Funding Received: 2013
Lexington, KY
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
April 28, 2014

By Richard Young

Wow. What a start to spring. Here’s what has happened for us, just in the past 30 days:

-- We’re nearing completion on our first house! 138 York St, which is being designed and built by Prajna Design, will be done in the next few weeks. If you’ve been keeping up with our test model house, you’ll know that we started from scratch. The only thing that remains of the original is the exterior architecture. We’ve built a whole new foundation, given the house structural support, a new roof—everything. We’re really excited to get our model out to the public.


-- Speaking of our LuigART Houses, we’ve partnered with LexArts, and Lord, Aeck, Sargent to launch a national design competition for our houses. The winner of the competition, which is in its RFQ stage, will receive a $5,000 prize, and will have his or her house built. The competition focuses on several of our shotgun houses and mandates that the original exterior architecture is preserved. If you are interested in reading about the competition, you can find it here.

-- To further flesh out the LuigART program, we’re excited to announce that we’ve secured a partnership with Community Ventures Corporation (CVC) to handle the mortgages, financial literacy training, and business training for our residents. CVC works to help people secure mortgages that would not normally qualify, in addition to featuring programs for business training, financial training, and startup incubation. Not only do they do all of these awesome things, but they also are located only one block away!

-- We’ve announced the details of the 2014 Night Market Season publicly! We’re going to be holding them on the first Friday of every month. West Sixth Brewing has come on board as the presenting sponsor for the year in addition to several other market-specific sponsors. We’ll be working with Lexington Lexington to curate the music for them and will be working with specific organizations to curate the vendors for each market. First up in May is Innovative Artistry Mark, followed by Give into the Groove in June. We expect the Night Market to bring in more than $90,000 into the North Limestone economy during the 2014 season.


-- We had a very productive site visit on our upcoming York St. WaterWorks Garden with Kentucky American Water, LexArts, Blue Grass Community Foundation, Lord, Aeck, Sargent, and more. We are expecting the project to be rolled out in mid-June. We also want to give a big thanks to the Gimbel Foundation in San Bernadino for funding the project.

-- We had a GREAT creative placemaking symposium with Anne Gadwa Nicodemus in the late part of March. We had a very productive roundtable discussion with representatives from LexArts, the Gaines Center, the Downtown Development Authority, West Sixth Brewing, Blue Grass Community Foundation, McBrayer, University of Kentucky Dept. of Community Leadership and Development, Lord, Aeck, Sargent. It was a good start to raising awareness of creative placemaking strategies in Lexington. There was even a nice newspaper article on it, which you can read here.

-- The University of Kentucky School of the Interiors class we’ve been working with proposed both their concept designs for their houses and their installation proposal. There were a lot of great ideas to incorporate into the LuigART houses, but we were especially intrigued with an installation proposal to build the world’s largest hackle! A hackle was a device used in industrial hemp production to separate the fibers of the plant (and for those of you that don’t know, hemp was a bedrock of the Kentucky economy, and North Limestone was one of the largest manufacturing centers for it in the state). The students proposed to build a 10-foot-tall hackle, and we accepted! It will debut at the Night Market in May.


Recent Wins
-- The Brothers Company Art Ventures (BroCoLoco) moved back to Lexington this month from Washington DC. Not only that, but they moved in right behind us! We’re excited to have these talented public artists back in town. Their first project is to pepper the Northside with murals throughout the Springtime—they’re planning around 10 to be painted in three weeks.

-- LexArts, together with Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras (CKYO), announced on the 14th that a $10,000 Challenge Grant has been awarded to support CKYO's North Limestone MusicWorks program. The donation was made anonymously and will match donations to CKYO 1:1 up to $10,000. LexArts will administer the challenge and 100% of the proceeds will be designated to the MusicWorks program.

A question for all of the brick and mortar project planners out there: How do you differentiate the work that your organization is doing from the work that for-profit developers are doing to make a pitch for in-kind donations from material suppliers, etc?