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One Albuquerque: Engage welcomes a new tenant to downtown Albuquerque

Programming continues beyond First Friday to fill vacant buildings through end of year

November 2, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – This Friday, November 2, downtown Albuquerque will be the place to be, thanks to One Albuquerque: Engage and events hosted by local organizers. But the fun will also extend beyond First Friday as Engage announces a new tenant downtown and expanded hours at the 505 Central Avenue shop.

The Engage project continues its monthly initiative to boost the local economy and promote public safety downtown by filling vacant buildings with temporary, pop-up style art exhibits, performances, and shopping experiences. The aim is to show the potential of vacant spaces to businesses who might rent them while providing resources and support to artists and entrepreneurs who could not otherwise afford a storefront. One Albuquerque: Engage has occurred on the first Friday of each month since August, and will continue through the end of the year.

“Downtown Albuquerque is on the rise,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “With the addition of a new tenant on Central and artists and local businesses participating in this project, we’re all coming together to make the heart of our city safe, inclusive and innovative.”

This month, Engage will add a new tenant at 610 Central Ave. Through a partnership with Fractured Atlas, the largest association of artists in the U.S., Storylab Interactive will inhabit the space on a temporary basis to provide programming on First Friday. Afterwards, they will be full-time tenants, bringing their immersive dining experiences and events to downtown audiences.

“Our original location was in downtown Albuquerque, so it was a perfect marriage of opportunity and timing to be able to partner with the City of Albuquerque and Fractured Atlas to bring engaging experiences and art to downtown,” said John-Mark Collins, Creative Director of Storylab.

Lauren Ruffin, Chief External Relations Officer with Fractured Atlas, shared enthusiasm for the new partnership, stating, "I'm so pleased that we are able to join with the City of Albuquerque and Story Lab to bring this exciting project and space to fruition. As a recent transplant to Albuquerque, I understand how important our downtown core is, and how often artists and creative business owners are the boldest first investors in underutilized neighborhoods. I feel so grateful that Fractured Atlas is able to play a small part in downtown's transformation."

Local artists Danny Hart and Amy Baca Lopez will continue to operate their shop, “The Goods” at 505 Central Avenue NW. They recently expanded their shop hours to include a Downtown Lunch Market, open Thursday through Sunday from 12-2 pm. 505 also features a light installation by local artist Bryce Fletcher Hample and poetry from two Albuquerque poet laureates on the front windows.

In addition to programming along Central Avenue, Engage will include events on Gold Avenue near the newly-opened Downtown Public Safety District located in the Alvarado Transportation Center and new installation art by Jared S. Tarbell at 506 Central Ave, the building that previously housed the hookah bar Bubble Lounge and has been vacant for years. Under new ownership, 506 is now the home of the art installation “Hubble Lounge”.

Mayor Tim Keller continued, “This project will bring more folks downtown, adding more eyes on the street. This will contribute to a safer environment downtown.”

The Engage program supports existing programming that occurs downtown on “First Fridays” by partnering with organizations like Two Way Street, ABQ ARTWalk, ARTS Crawl ABQ, Downtown Mainstreet, Enchanted Pop Up and Mariposa Music. Local vendors can continue to sign up for pop-up business licenses with the City of Albuquerque during events.

To sign up for a pop-up business license and find out more about One Albuquerque: Engage, please visit http://www.cabq.gov/engage

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About Fractured Atlas:

Fractured Atlas is the largest association of artists in the United States, with more than 70,000 members across all disciplines. Over the last twenty years, in service of breaking down barriers to creativity, artists have been able to leverage our products to find performance and event space, manage donors and ticketing, and raise funds through our crowdfunding and fiscal sponsorship programs--more than $154 million to date.

About Storylab Interactive:

Storylab is an interactive experience design company focused on telling stories through technological wizardry. We like to focus on place-based (both physical and virtual) interactions and experiences. Storylab creates technology-driven interactive and immersive experiences for research, education, entertainment, dining, art and engagement.  Our experiences bridge the physical, digital, augmented and immersive.