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Examiner
  • Project Tracker: Englewood continues down artistic path

  • Englewood was once its own free-standing community with a post office, a dry cleaner and a Ben Franklin store, just to name a few amenities. Throughout the years, the western Independence storefronts became empty in a four-block stretch that in many ways looke like it could have stepped out of 1950s small-town America.

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  • WHAT’S HAPPENING
    Englewood was once its own free-standing community with a post office, a dry cleaner and a Ben Franklin store, just to name a few amenities. Throughout the years, the western Independence storefronts became empty in a four-block stretch that in many ways looke like it could have stepped out of 1950s small-town America.
    In November 2008, the district slowly started changing as the Green Dog Gallery opened its doors at 10922 E. Winner Road. More than two years later, an arts district feasibility study has taken place, and Englewood business owners work with dedication to make the historic area an official arts district.
    BACKGROUND
    In spring 2009, Independence Economic Development commissioned a study of the feasibility of an Englewood arts district. The result wasn’t a simple “yes” or “no” answer, but business owners marched on. Puppetry Arts Institute, a mainstay in Englewood for a decade, now has Green Dog Gallery, the Russ Lawrence Art Gallery, Winner Road Gallery, Frick Electronic Services & Art Gallery and 3 Trails Trading Post – and several dozen resident artists – among its neighbors.
    Last year, the Independence Planning Commission and the City Council approved an amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance that outlines guidelines for an arts district. While Englewood awaits “official” designation as an arts district, the guidelines are now in place.
    WHAT’S NEXT
    Rain, sleet or sunshine, the art galleries in Englewood open their doors to patrons for the monthly Third Friday Art Walks. In late January, the area received a Mid-America Regional Council grant for a streetscape project, and construction is to begin in 2012. The project includes the widening of the sidewalks on the north side of Winner Road to 17 feet; relocation of parking; improvement of transit bus stops and bicycle facilities; and corridor beautification.
    Monte Short, chairman of the Englewood arts district, said recently that business and property owners are working with the city to make the district designation official within the next year. Connie J. Boswell, a house artist at Winner Road Galley, recently offered this sentiment about the arts district: “I think it’s a wonderful concept, and I think it’s happening, but I think also that it takes time to build.”    
    Is there an issue you want us to update?
    If you’re wondering about something that was in the new but doesn’t have resolution, send your idea to:
    E-MAIL sheila.davis@examiner.net
    PHONE 816-350-6365
    FAX 816-254-0211
    MAIL 410 S. Liberty St., Independence, MO 64050

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