By Cathy Carter
Managers of the Washington Convention Center have found a creative way to deal with the issue of vacant retail space by jumping into a national arts trend.
Pop up art galleries take advantage of the recessionary real estate market by turning empty store fronts into art venues. This weekend and next, local artists are selling their wares rent free during the Arts on N Street festival in the District's Shaw neighborhood.
The Washington Convention Center does have plans to bring retail development to this stretch of N Street, but for now they're lending unused space to the D.C. Commission on Arts and Humanities.
"So it was a win-win for us, obviously having now some creative use for the space and then having some wonderful artists participate as well," says Greg O'Dell, president of the Washington Convention and Sports Authority.
O'Dell hopes this weekend's Arts on N Street festival will help invigorate this otherwise sleepy neighborhood just blocks away from the convention center.
The festival is happening all weekend, between Seventh and Ninth Streets.