by Lucy Curtis

Mount Airy Art Garage (MAAG) was in for a shock last summer when they realized their lease was non-renewable and they would have to be moving out of their building at the end of August 2016. Since then MAAG has been scrambling to find a new home, and with the help of Mount Airy USA, they have done just that.

MAAG is a nonprofit arts center founded by and for local artists. It works with local artists in order to foster a sense of collaboration and creativity. MAAG’s cofounders, Arleen Olshan and Linda Slodki, created a space which “serves as an incubator for professional and emerging artists who work in creative partnerships with local adults and youth to spread the spirit of art, community, and sustainable living throughout Northwest Philadelphia.”

After finding out that they were about to lose their lease Olshan and Slodki were approached by Mount Airy USA, which is “a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization in Northwest Philadelphia that preserves, empowers and advances the vitality and diversity of Mt. Airy by stimulating community-centered neighborhood development.”

Mount Airy USA is in the process of developing a new space for MAAG to work out of. A multi-use space is being developed in 6651 Germantown Ave. and it will house MAAG as well as other tenants. The development is expected to take about eighteen months, and MAAG will move into the space in 2018.

MAAG will operate out of their previous location at 11 W. Mount Airy Ave until August 31, when the termination of their lease will force them to move. They will then be holding their programs pop-up style at 6622 Germantown Ave, as well as several other locations in and around Mount Airy.

Though MAAG has encountered an obstacle in terms of where they will be located, they will remain a creative and inclusive community of artists based in Mount Airy, working to improve the world around them through their art.