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Arts & Culture

Applications For The Akron Soul Train Artists' Colony Are Now Available

photo of shipping containers
The Akron Soul Train could break ground as early as April; the artists' colony would feature shipping containers that can be used as residences for artists during fellowships.

Applications open today for a unique artists’ residency in Akron that takes place this summer.

Groundbreaking is slated for this spring on The Akron Soul Train, an artists’ colony of refurbished shipping containers and rail cars just north of downtown Akron. Initial funding came from a $150,000 Knight Arts Challenge grant, and artist Amy Mothersbaugh – billed as “Creative Conductor” and Vice-President – says their goal is to host three fellowships this summer, allowing artists to live in the village.

“If all goes as it’s planned and scheduled right now, the village will be open and we will be able to have two of the fellowships in the residential studios, on-site.”

Mothersbaugh says she’s been in talks with Summit Metro Parks and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad on collaborative programming. She also says the Akron Soul Train could be a model for other cities, and she’s gotten inquiries about the plan from as far away as California.

Mothersbaugh adds that they’re not limited to painters and sculptors.

“We’re actually sponsoring writers and dancers and illustrators and singers and musicians. All art mediums will be accommodated in the village. So as long as someone’s ready to be patient with us to figure out how to accommodate them best, we want all art mediums represented.”

Mothersbaugh says applications are due May 31, and there will be two workshops to help artists with the process. Both will be at the Highland Square Mustard Seed Market, from 7-8 p.m. on March 23 and April 6.