On November 21, the first step was taken in the process of constructing the Creative Alliance’s new Creativity Center. The Center, designed to support expanded educational and community programming, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021.
The Creativity Center will be located directly across Eastern Avenue from the Creative Alliance’s flagship location, The Patterson. Demolition of the existing structure at 3137 Eastern Avenue has begun to make way for the new Center. The site, formerly the bar La Raza Cantina, was purchased by the Creative Alliance in 2014 and was deemed unfit for the planned uses by the project architect, Quinn Evans. Together the Creative Alliance’s two buildings will form an Eastern Avenue cultural gateway to Baltimore’s Highlandtown’s Arts & Entertainment District.
The Creativity Center will offer state-of-the-art classrooms, a professional-quality dance studio floor, and a teaching kitchen. The Center’s accessible facilities will support life-long learning through workshops, classes, dances, performances, social gatherings, community dinners, and events that showcase and share the rich cultural traditions of our multi-racial, multi-ethnic community and city.
- Visual arts education will be expanded. Artmaking workshops will include drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, pottery and glass making, mosaics, jewelry, and textile design. Bilingual classes will reflect the traditional arts that generations of immigrants brought with them to Baltimore, including pysanky, quilting, piñata making, corn husk flower making, embroidery, batik, flower arranging, screen painting, calligraphy, and weaving.
- A dance studio is planned with sprung floors, ballet bars, and mirrors. Workshops and performances will include traditional Mexican folkloric dances, Bachata, Meringue, Salsa, Caribbean, African dance, Hip Hop, Modern, Ballet and Tap, plus yoga, meditation, and martial arts classes.
- A professional teaching kitchen with multi-cultural programming will provide a range of classes from the basics of healthy eating and nutrition to job training with professional chefs, entrepreneurial opportunities, plus community dinners that bring neighbors of diverse backgrounds together to enjoy cultural food traditions.
- The center will allow for a dramatic expansion of performance and media arts, including photography, puppetry, stage and costume design, storytelling, acting, scriptwriting, songwriting, fiction and poetry, banjo, ukulele, and voice lessons. To fund the design and construction of the Creativity Center, the Creative Alliance has launched The Campaign for Creativity. To date, the campaign has raised more than 75% of the project’s total of the $5.6 million campaign goal.
Construction will begin in the fall of 2020 upon completion of the fundraising campaign. Creative Alliance plans to launch the new Creativity Center in the fall of 2021.
Demolition is partially funded by the State of Maryland through the Baltimore Regional Neighborhoods Initiative.