Culture News

Grand Avenue's Fillmore Creative to Close This Weekend

Downtown Phoenix arts collaborative Fillmore Creative, which opened a mere six months ago near Grand Avenue, will close before month's end.

Joey Grether, the artist/activist who helped run the venue, says that the owner of the building housing the collaborative (which is located at 11th Avenue and Fillmore Street) is selling the property and giving everyone the boot.

"That's the nature of the system, unfortunately," Grether says. "Landlords are ultimately here to make money."

Fillmore Creative opened in January and hosted multiple artists and projects (including a recording studio and a sewing lab) as well as numerous after-hours parties and hip-hop events. Artists such as Pablo Luna and Lalo Cota decorated the place with multiple murals and helped give it a lively flair.

It was something of a bold endeavor, considering that Grand Avenue has mostly become a ghost town in terms of arts venues (save for a few stalwarts like Trunk Space and Beatrice Moore's Kooky Krafts shop).

Most of the building's tenants have already packed up and vacated the property at this point, Grether says, including tattoo artist/muralist Angel Diaz (who has moved over to Por Vida on 16th Street) and the hip-hop promoters of Krown Entertainment.

Endless Seams, the sewing lab run by Grether that offered workshops and opportunities for artists to make their own clothing, is likely to become a mobile operation that will offer future events at multiple locations, he says.

The venue will host one last event on Saturday night titled "Final Days of the Fillmore Creative" before the keys are turned over to the owner. (More details can be found via its Facebook page.)

While Grether is sorry to see the Fillmore Creative to go after only six months, he's fully aware of the fact that business interests constantly push artists to the wayside.

"I think that's the way it's always going to go. Until enough people support a more diverse, dynamic arts community, then artists are going to get pushed out by chain stores, retail businesses, or people that have more money. That's just the nature of gentrification," Grether says.

"Ideally, artists can just ride the crest of the wave and enjoy things while they're happening but be adaptable at the same time and available to move at a moment's notice. None of this shit's supposed to be permanent. Let's enjoy what's happening at any given moment but plan for bigger and better things in the future."

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.