A veteran advocate for the arts has been hired to lead the Motor House, the Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation’s arts and performance hub in Station North.
The nonprofit known as BARCO today announced it has appointed Andre Mazelin to be the North Avenue arts incubator space’s new managing director. Mazelin has a wealth of experience serving Baltimore’s creatives, having worked as the operations director for Highlandtown’s Creative Alliance for 10 years and as an arts advocate in Baltimore for the last two decades.
Last year, he opened Mt. Vernon’s thriving fair-trade coffee shop, bar and community space The Room, a popular outpost known for hosting events geared toward Baltimore artists.
Mazelin said in a statement that he wants to bring a “renewed energy” to 120 W. North Avenue.
“Artists are powerful changemakers in our communities, and l’m passionate about providing opportunities for them to showcase their work,” he said. “We will work hard to make sure Motor House programming is representative of all of Baltimore, and the many creatives from all walks of life who have something to say.”
In his capacity as director, he’ll oversee all marketing, financial management and general administration duties for the space, as well as booking and other aspects of programming for exhibitions and shows.
BARCO said he’ll retain his ownership in The Room, but will have another employee manage the shop day to day.
Motor House was born out of the space that housed DIY arts venue Load of Fun from 2005 to 2013. Similar to Motor House, Load of Fun offered artist studios, exhibitions and performances, and is credited with helping spark the rise of the neighborhood’s active and vibrant arts scene during its seven years in existence.
And similarly to the Bell Foundry, the space was shut down after someone called authorities to tell them it wasn’t up to code. BARCO, then in its infancy with financial support from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, bought the space and poured $6 million into it. Opened in 2015, Motor House today holds 14 studios, gallery and special event spaces and a 125-seat performance venue.
Mazelin is taking the helm during a time of expansion and collaboration. Motor House is part of a new formal partnership between BARCO and the Maryland Institute and College of Art in which the nonprofit and the school plan to lean on one another for talent and resources.