Bittersweet 16: A Renaissance Diminished
Announcement from ArtsinStark - Immediate Release: The Closure of Avenue Arts Marketplace
It is with heavy heart that ArtsinStark announces the closure of the gallery of Avenue Arts Marketplace. For 16 years Second April Galerie and then Avenue Arts were the heart of the Canton Arts District. Through the tireless efforts of countless artists who have shown their work and been in residence, the space at 324 Cleveland was a living arts center. The ArtsinStark staff has worked very hard to keep the flame burning, but with reduced sales and the latest wave of closures due to Covid19, the space is no longer financially viable.
With the closure of the gallery space, the theatre will live on housed at the Education Center at the Cultural Center for the Arts opening tentatively with “Spring Awakening” in September. While we will miss our visual artists in residence at the 324 Cleveland space, we look forward to the new opportunity to grow the theatre program and the continued excellence of Avenue Arts Theatre.
The community will get one last chance to visit and shop with us on Friday, June 5 from 4-9pm during Canton First Friday. You can also shop online now through June 5 on the website at www.avenuearts.org
Between 2006 and 2008, I reported on the arts in Stark County for a short-lived weekly newspaper called The Observer-Reporter, published out of Jackson Township. On April 12, 2007, the paper published my article titled A renaissance in downtown Canton. It was an enthusiastic look at the early stages of what came to be called The Canton Arts District.
The article ended with the words of Robb Hankins, president and CEO of ArtsinStark: “The people and companies who want to move here or stay here want to know that when they go to our downtown, there’s some vibrancy and a place to hang out. So there’s this whole arts and entertainment image and feeling, and things feed off one another if you’ve got enough critical mass. In my mind, that’s economic development. I have a feeling that this summer in downtown Canton, it won’t all be in place yet, but it will be the beginning of enough critical mass.”
As summer 2020 approaches, I’m thinking that what comes around…goes away. Critical mass diminished. Heavy heart indeed, thanks for the memories.