A group of artist-organizers came together to address the growing issues of safe, affordable art space and to create a way to collectively empower each other and share resources. The result of those conversations was Le Mondo.
2014 – 2015
This collective of artists and arts groups submitted a proposal to the city of Baltimore for a set of buildings on the 400 block of Howard Street. Our goal: creating lasting and affordable space driven by artists for artists; building a critical mass of shared resources and energies; elevating and sustaining our experimental arts community.
We raised funds to buy the buildings from the city and were able to raise $50,000 to do so last year – thanks to almost 200 donors and a matching grant award! By the end of last year, we secured ownership of three historic buildings to realize our dreams of an artist-owned multi-use performance arts complex and community hub – one that championed bold new art and affordable space while creating a new model for economic empowerment and community development in Baltimore.
We began work on our first venue, Le Mondo Arts, at 406 North Howard Street. Our neighborhood has a rich history as Baltimore’s commercial district – an area once full of theaters, restaurants, department stores, and retail. Le Mondo Arts was originally built as a silent film house and vaudeville theater in 1916! We celebrated its birthday and got to work transforming it to its original arts use. Thanks to a team of industrious volunteers and enthusiastic Le Mondo members, MONDO is rounding the bend to be open seven days a week this 2018!
We're about to open the doors of our first building and venue to the public! Le Mondo Arts will be: a neighborhood bar and mid-sized performance venue for performance of all kinds – theater, music shows, dance, and more; meeting space; and artist studios for individual and small arts organizations. Our mission is to keep this venue artist-oriented and affordable. Le Mondo Arts will bring a dense and active space to the 400 block of N. Howard St. and an accessible and much-needed mid-size performance venue addition to Baltimore.
Opening Le Mondo Arts will propel the buildout of our adjacent two historic buildings. These building will house: a black box theatre and dance space, affordable live/work apartments, workshop facilities, rehearsal space, classroom space, and a cafe.