Franklinton Columbus: From Vacant to Vibrant
As it stands, the neighborhood of Franklinton has a 27 percent home-vacancy rate. A string of vacant houses could attract crime, drugs and expand into a blighted neighborhood. Or, more positively, it could attract artists and innovators seeking affordable places to work.
As is the case with 400 W Rich:
What’s also encouraging is that overall the neighborhood is spared from the negative aspects of gentrification – displacement of low-income populations (because the properties are empty already).
After a long and lonely period of vacancy, 400 W Rich opened its doors to local artists on July 1, 2011. Since, it has expanded to a dynamic and multi-functional arts hub. Over 140 Columbus based artists, craftsman, designers and performers have used the space to collaborate and to create.
As interesting people and ideas convene to build momentum, even more people are attracted. A once run down space thus becomes a venue for events and participation. It becomes a foundation for discussion and progression.
“The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued.”