As stores transition on Melrose, storefronts often sit empty as property owners wait for new tenants to move in. The BID thought it would be fun to activate these spaces with eye-catching displays that enliven the street. To that end, they reached out to BID Board Member Pierson Blaetz of the Greenway Arts Alliance (the group that manages the Greenway Theatre and Melrose Trading Post) and the Fairfax High Visual Arts program to develop a solution. Working hand-in-hand with Melrose merchants Cosmo & Nathalia Black (DeAnna Von Bonin), Monster-A-Go-Go (Michelle Ghoulmore) and Forgotten Saints (Cody Varona), students developed themed window displays to install in vacant storefronts.
Over a six-week period, the student groups drew their designs, built props, chose wardrobe pieces and learned about the art of visual merchandising from their merchant mentors. By April, they were ready to install. But they were faced with a unique problem…a leasing boom had taken place and all of the locations that had been chosen for installation had been rented. So, property owner Isack Fadlon of Sportie LA provided his gallery space next to Sportie LA (7753 Melrose) for Cosmo & Nathalia’s music festival-inspired display. And Monster-A-Go-Go allowed students to create a “Dead Spring” display for their store (7361 Melrose). The Forgotten Saints team installed their design at their school.
The Melrose BID is excited to bring Fairfax High and the Melrose business community together on beautification projects and looks forward to expanding the program in the months to come.