COLUMBUS (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — Schiff Capital Group and Corso Ventures plan to open an art-centered space near High Street in an effort to give back to the Short North neighborhood.

The new initiative will be called Local Art-Short North, and will aim to preserve the arts in the area.

Local Art-Short North will be a nonprofit entity. The space will include eight 12 display areas for recently established artists, who will be able to display their art rent-free.

Michael Schiff, CEO of Schiff Capital Group, said he had an epiphany when driving around the Short North neighborhood. The area is known for its galleries, but some fear rising rents on the trendy corridor are driving artists out.

“We don’t want the arts to suffer,” Schiff said. “We’ve been hearing gallery owners say it is hard to keep up because of rising costs.”

There will be a committee that selects the initial artists who will display their art, with works staying up from three to nine months. Every four months there will be a meeting where the selection committee reviews new applications and will rotate in new art. There will also be space for existing Short North galleries to display work.

“The Short North has been good to me, and I want to give back,” Schiff said. “The future of the arts is becoming more difficult, and we want to do whatever we can to help.”

Schiff said this is about making the Short North better for artists, people who visit the neighborhood and people who live there.

“We believe that this entire scenario is great for our city in general and gives developers who have had the good fortune to build in the Short North, the opportunity to help give back and make the district even better,” Schiff said. “We would love for some artists in years ahead to say they got started in the Art Local-Short North facility. That would be amazingly rewarding for all of us.”

Although Schiff and Corso are leading the initiative, other developers are expected to contribute. Those other partners and the gallery’s location will be announced in the next month or so, Schiff told Columbus Business First. The goal is to have artists occupying the space as soon as possible, he said.

The Short North is known as one of the best arts districts in the Midwest, Schiff said.

“We don’t want artists to have to display elsewhere because it gets too expensive. We want to make sure they are always welcome here and that the area does not lose the character which these artists provide,” Chris Corso said in a media release.

Both Corso and Schiff have built and developed numerous buildings and businesses in the area.

Schiff Capital has helped develop several Short North properties, including the mixed-use building at 711 North High St., which Schiff said has featured local art in its lobby since opening. Corso’s Short North restaurants include Urban Meyer’s Urban Chophouse, Forno and Luxe 23, among others.

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