If you've been there recently, you may have noticed the quick construction of a series of tiny buildings that seem to have appeared out of nowhere, popping up from an empty lot on Woodland Street like spring flowers. Could this be the thing that galvanizes the community to live up to its creative potential? Meg and Bret MacFadyen — the couple who founded Art & Invention Gallery, Tomato Fest and I Dream of Weenie — are hoping that it will be, and from what we can tell, they might be onto something.
They're calling it Five Points Collaborative (An Idea Hatchery). It's located next door to The Art & Invention Gallery and consists of eight modular structures that are situated side by side to create a small community, like a hive of artistic and creative spirit that the MacFadyens hope will serve as incubators for small businesses. The project, the MacFadyens say, is “an effort to encourage entrepreneurial small businesses by providing small rental spaces with short term leases at a fair price. This will allow the entrepreneur to explore and experiment with a business idea reasonably, without taking on potentially large debt.” Aside from commercial start-ups, the units will also be available as studios and offices, with the goal of creating “a community of independent thinkers.” That means there will not only be more opportunities for local creatives, but also a stronger foundation for them to work, and potentially thrive.
The MacFadyens' combination of creative and entrepreneurial talents is the perfect foundation for such an undertaking. It's like a street festival with four walls instead of booths, but with the same neighborhood presence and collective spirit. Will East Nashville live up to its reputation as a nest for creative energy? More information about the project will be coming, but for now, we're just glad the groundwork's been built.