EMP is a proud supporter of LE MONDO, an arts and artist-led development project unfolding just up the street from us on Howard Street. (Our founding Artistic Director, Carly J. Bales, is the co-founder and co-director of this endeavor!)
Le Mondo is an artist-owned-and-driven project positioning Baltimore as a center for theatre and the live arts, nationally and internationally. Comprised of three buildings on Baltimore’s historic Howard Street corridor, the project will champion a diverse community of arts and community organizations, individual artists, curators, and arts-lovers in the city. Le Mondo’s name mutated from several inspirations: La MaMa, an NYC institution of downtown experimental performance and inspiration for the project; le monde, french for the world; and, of course, Mondo Trasho, a wink to John Waters and weirdo Baltimore arts.
MORE ABOUT LE MONDO
Once the center of Baltimore’s commercial district and the home to a range of vaudeville and touring performance houses, the Howard Street corridor has suffered neglect and deinvestment for decades. The Le Mondo project, with it’s focus on arts-ownership, the performing arts, and affordable live/work spaces, will be a major milestone and catalytic anchor for Howard Street and the Westside. The Westside neighborhood is now part of the newly-formed Bromo Arts District and Le Mondo now joins a growing hive of arts activity downtown alongside organizations such as Current Gallery, EMP Collective, Eubie Blake Cultural Center, DCAC, MAP, Everyman Theatre, 14K Cabaret, Platform Arts, Springsteen Gallery, Gallery 4, Muse 360, Psychic Readings, Annex Theater, Arena Players, Open Space, and several other artist-run spaces who call the neighborhood home.
What Le Mondo is Doing!
Upon completion, Le Mondo will provide a cultural hub with a robust mix of both daytime and nighttime activity: flexible performance venues, rehearsal and shop facilities, and a cafe with 16,000 square feet of opportunity for office, studio, and artist live/work opportunities on the second and third floors.
Le Mondo is set to open in 2016 at their first location at 404-406 N Howard St.
The first of a three-venue project, the building will house the most direct mission-driven components to the over-all project, including a performance space, a full bar, rehearsal space, and the offices of Baltimore Youth Arts. Renovations on the two adjacent buildings (408-412 N Howard St), which will house live/work studios, a second theatre, a pop-up shop, and additional office spaces.
Why Le Mondo is Doing It!
Le Mondo addresses a growing need for truly affordable and sustainable space for individual artists and small arts organizations in Baltimore through artist-ownership and community-led development. The creative class has widely been recognized and exploited as an agent of increasing property value, branding neighborhoods and triggering gentrification. Arts districts pop up with no artist-owned or controlled spaces, taking the direction and definition of the art out of the hands of the artists. Meanwhile there is no security, no sustainability, no leverage in the very spaces artists live and work in. Real estate is not supposed to be for artists themselves.
This is a chance to change that in downtown Baltimore.
Le Mondo creates a safe and enduring home for the appreciation and incubation of new, daring work in the city while bringing new life to a once-thriving corridor in the city.
Who Le Mondo Is!
Carly J Bales
Board of Directors
Carly J Bales
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