Earlier this year, the 11-year-old uncurated arts event Artomatic cloned itself in Frederick, Maryland. Pretty much everything was the same: The name, the logo, the unused building, the treasured “values” of openness and temporary use of space.
It went well enough that the original Artomatic is planning to franchise further. According to founder George Koch, mini-matics are germinating in Baltimore, Vancouver B.C., and D.C.’s sister city of Sunderland, England. They’ll all have licensing agreements to use Artomatic’s concept and stuff, similar to how TED talks mushroomed into the now (often gratuitous) TEDx events.
Meanwhile, the original Artomatic is still looking for a spot to operate next year, which has been made difficult by the fact that our office market is actually kind of good these days. Koch says that although he’d prefer to keep the event in the District, they could easily lock down a Crystal City location right now—-apparently the Crystal City Business Improvement District has been hounding Artomatic to come back since hosting the event back in 2007 (and D.C.’s BIDs haven’t courted much at all).
After that, might as well go to Baltimore…
Photo by flickr user isteve under a Creative Commons attribution license.