Tuesday, February 2, 2016

[ANOTHER LOOK] The article by Pari Chang that started all the buzz about the little City of Lake Worth, FL

[Below is a blog post from early 2015. Haven't gone through and checked all the links to see if they still work. Many artist's (not all!) like to move around the country to see and experience new things. Some artists who came to Lake Worth last year might have moved on to Northwood or further south to Miami. Enjoy this blog post and remember, the Street Painting Festival is coming up in a few weeks.]

Our little City of Lake Worth has been getting a lot of attention around the country, a shout-out of sorts to all artists everywhere to consider Lake Worth their home to pursue their creative endeavors.

The article received national attention in Yahoo News and other news organizations, however the story originally appeared here in a blog by Pari Chang. Here is the title of Pari Chang's blog post, "Where the Makers Are: Lake Worth, Florida".

The blog post has many wonderful pictures of the City of Lake Worth and you should check them out. What I want to focus on is what Pari Chang wrote. Here are some excerpts from Pari Chang's post with the embedded links in the original article:
This small South Florida city is an under-the-radar, up-and-coming hotbed of makers. Miami obviously has a huge arts scene. Locals know that Ft. Lauderdale does, too. But Lake Worth, in Palm Beach County, is the one to watch, a city on the verge. The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency has received over $23 million in grants from HUD to improve blighted areas of the city as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. They’ve used the money to purchase, rehabilitate, and demolish foreclosed homes and build live/work spaces for artists.
“My husband Nick and I live in The Urban Arts Lofts. We have studio space in the bottom and we live upstairs in a loft,” says Ashley Nardone, who used to work at Anthropologie as a display coordinator–meaning an artist who makes window displays, store displays, and signage. Now, with her set up in Lake Worth, she and Nick opened Seldom Seamed and became self-employed installation artists who build mind-blowing storefronts and creative displays for all kinds of events. “Once the city made these buildings, then builders and makers and artists moved in,” she says.
LULA–the cultural Renaissance program in Lake Worth, cultivates engagement from local creators with maker-infused events and art-centered business programs. Lake Avenue and Lucerne Avenue, two one-way streets downtown (from which LULA gets its name), get closed off each year for a street-painting festival in which local artists create beautiful chalk murals on the streets.
[and lastly...]
Also worth checking out in Lake Worth: McMow Glass, Artisans on the Avenue, and the Lake Worth Art League. 
There’s also Unit 1, an exhibition space and collaborative media studio founded by Palm Beach College Art Professor and artist Jacques de Beaufort.

“My husband and I are both South Florida natives,” says Ashley Nardone. ”We’re seeing Lake Worth transform into a vibrant community of makers. The town has an old South Florida vibe and it’s small enough that we can ride our bikes everywhere.”
Thank you Pari Chang for the wonderful piece you wrote about our little City of Lake Worth. We'll do our best to make sure as many people as possible read your blog post and many other artists move to our City to reclaim our neglected spaces here.