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North Avenue is 'Staging a Revival' With the Help of MICA, According to Baltimore Magazine

Station North is experiencing an art revival, including the MICA studio spaces

Posted 01.04.10 by MICa media relations

Studio Center along North Avenue in Station North neighborhood

An article in the January 2010 issue of Baltimore magazine says the "unlikely theater scene plays a major role in bringing the 'new' North Avenue to life." The new theater spaces are adding to an art and literature scene that makes up the stretch known as Station North, which includes MICA's Studio Center as an anchor of the street. The building, which used to be a Jos. A. Bank suit factory, serves as both studio space for M.F.A. students and office space for the community, including the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.

An April 2010 article in Baltimore magazine reiterated MICA's role in the revitalization of the Station North neighborhood, which the publication named one of the 2010 Hot ‘Hoods. "With so much being driven by the expansion of MICA on the north ... I can't think of another neighborhood where there's so much going on," says Marty Azola, historic renovator and managing partner of Railway Express.

"It's a reflection of the city's increasingly high profile among artists," says the January article. "MICA surveys of high school seniors have long shown that Baltimore scared off some prospective students. But that has changed, and this year's freshmen class reported that the city was actually a major reason they chose MICA. They ranked Baltimore above New York, citing our vibrant arts and music scene."

The Station North neighborhood--a 100-acre arts district bounded by rail lines to the south, Howard Street to the west, and North and Greenmount avenues to the north and east- "is buzzing and blossoming into what can be a very real cultural arts capitol in Baltimore," says Brendan Ragan, an actor in the Single Carrot Theatre group, in the earlier article.

"We've been able to see the neighborhood literally transform, ... and the energy and the art happening in the area are amazing," says J. Buck Jabaily, also a part of Single Carrot. "North Avenue is undergoing a renaissance, and we want to be a small part of it. For some reason we see our fate as a company being linked to the success of the neighborhood."

Image caption: Studio Center along North Avenue in Station North neighborhood

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 48 states and 61 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. Redefining art and design education, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.