City Gets On Board With "Maker" Community

Posted at 10:22 PM, May 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-13 23:37:13-04

Fort Houston is a place to create.

The 10,000 square foot workshop is home to both hobbyists and small business owners. In fact, anyone who makes things is welcome.

"This is a 1979 BMW R-100 its for a customer out of new York," said designer Art Arcinas, gesturing toward a motorcycle he's rebuilding.

"I worked in orthopedics for eight years in the health care industry and I just got burned out of it," Arcinas said.

He is one of more than 70 artists who are turning the neighborhood into a unique, creative place. And if you're not a part of the movement you might be surprised to hear this is in the heart of Wedgewood Houston.

"Wedgewood Houston has typically been a pretty industrial, working class neighborhood," said the councilmember for the area Colby Sledge.

Sledge says the city is excited about what's being dubbed a "maker community," just south of downtown. Metro won a $50,000 Endowment of the Arts grant to study what's happening there so it can build upon it.

"If we can show that this is valuable to Nashville from an economic sense and a cultural sense then it helps us in the Council and the Mayor's Office set priorities," Sledge said.

Because they believe the makers and the artists are what maintain the culture in a growing city.

"I think a neighborhood like this is really critical to make Nashville unique," said designer and woodworker Dave Wildman.

It's a lot like Art's 1979 BMW.

"Taking something old and renovating it into modern times," he said Art, looking at the bike.

These artists are remaking an entire community.