THE FATVillage ARTWALK
The humble beginnings of a cherished community gathering.
When we moved C&I’s headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Fort Lauderdale, we saw an absence of art in the community. This wasn’t so surprising given the underdeveloped area we set up shop. FATVillage — Food, Arts, and Technology — was nothing but a rundown street of warehouses situated between downtown and more underdeveloped neighborhoods. But there was a vision for the area and that was enough to get us started.
With a little help from local artists, we pioneered what would become one of the most recognized monthly community events in South Florida. That was over ten years ago! Today, our monthly art walk boasts local vendors, street artists, musicians, food trucks, pop-up bars, and much more. In the spirit of the festivities, we gather our team every month to conceptualize and execute original ideas that connect our community with the art we produce on a weekly basis.
Our history with the FATVillage Artwalk inspired our team to integrate unique gathering places along NW 1st Avenue. In addition to Studio A, where we showcase live art exhibits, we also established The Garden, an outdoor space where vendors gather and live art shows commence, and Brew Next Door, a laid back lounge space with a full bar and live music.
As Artwalk began to gain popularity, we wanted another outlet to serve the community.
There was an empty space just across from the studio and we knew that would be the next expansion for Artwalk. When we moved in, we painted murals on all of the walls and branded the space as our own. Today, in addition to hosting Artwalk, we also put on other creative community events, like Crew Call.
Since its opening, The Garden has been the heart of Artwalk. Though Studio A and Brew Next Door see a ton of foot traffic, the location of The Garden is in the very center of the festivities. It’s impossible to miss it! This is where the majority of vendors set up shop. It’s essentially a big loop with a bar in the center. On most occasions, you’ll have local art vendors, farmer’s market vendors, clothing shops, vintage creations, and small business pop-ups.
For this Artwalk, we hosted a Guinness Book of World Records attempt on the largest pineapple pyramid constructed in a single day. Local vendors donated an entire truckload of pineapples for the event with all proceeds going to C&I Reach.