Mt. Airy Arts Garage gets green light from zoning board

A Philadelphia zoning board today gave the Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) the green light to house artist studios in a vacant building at 9-11 W. Mt. Airy Ave.

During a hearing this morning, Philadelphia’s Zoning Board of Adjustments unanimously approved a zoning variance that permits seven on-site studios, according to MAAG President and co-founder Linda Slodki.

Slodki said members of MAAG and the West Mt. Airy Neighbors’ Zoning Committee, who sent a letter of support to the ZBA, immediately slipped into celebration mode upon hearing the decision.

“As soon as [the ZBA] said it, we broke into tears. Our whole group started applauding and saying ‘Oh my God, thank you so much. Thank you so much.’ The entire room busted out laughing,” said Slodki.

The artist studios are an important part of the nonprofit’s ambitious vision for the space. The group also plans to host bi-monthly fine art and handcraft markets, gallery space and classes for the community.

Slodki said MAAG hopes to open its doors in spring with the art market and member gallery space in place. The artist studios, she said, will come sometime later as further funds are secured for the space.

She estimates the group needs $100,000 to complete the entire project.

“We’re taking donations constantly. Anytime, anyplace,” said Slodki.

Initial construction could start in six weeks.

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