Artists looking for a place to live, work and play might just find that spot in Covington’s emerging Arts District.
The city is working with entrepreneurial-minded artists to revive its historic center by offering programs and support for creative folks looking to relocate, open retail and studio space, and make a home there.
Covington has a variety of public and private galleries, including Baker-Hunt Art and Cultural Center, Behringer-Crawford Museum, The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, The Frank Duveneck Arts and Cultural Center, Art Machine, Covington Clay, Passionate Arts and Leapin Lizzard.
And artists aren’t just waiting for the city to make things happen. They also have banded together to create their own group, Covington Art Merchants, Inc. The group assists in relocating artists and getting them settled in Covington, says Sandra Small, of Sandra Small Gallery.
“We include any arts organization that wants to join. It’s really a wonderful venture. The Web site includes available real estate and has lots of information,” Small says.
Small moved to Covington from Cincinnati about 10 years ago and opened a studio and gallery at 124 West Pike Street in March.
Covington has several incentives to entice the creative class. Among those is the Covington Artist Residential District Homeowner Loan Program, which offers an incentive of up to $6,000 for those who purchase a residential or mixed-use building in the district. The program also offers down-payment assistance for condos located in the district.
The Artisan Enterprise Center opened its doors early this year. It’s a place where artists can come together and share ideas on business and their crafts. The center offers free workshop and gallery space and conference rooms. In addition, business, art and marketing classes are also offered.
You can get a taste of the district during the Fourth Annual Art Off Pike Festival on Oct. 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the heart of downtown Covington at Pike and Seventh streets between Madison and Russell streets. The festival is a joint effort of the Covington Arts District and the Arts District.
To find out more about the Covington Arts District, call interim Covington Arts District Manager Sait Tarhan at (859) 486-0058. You can also browse the Art District Web site to find out more about available properties, upcoming events, class schedules and other established arts businesses.
Photo: Courtesy of Covington Arts District