My little corner of the Bromo Arts District is characterized as much by international comings-and-goings as it is by its arts district designation. The Cantonese signs in the storefronts of old Chinatown might be replaced by Arabic or Amharic overnight. So when artist Lydia Petit, my friend and the founder of Platform Arts Center, moved to London a few years ago and put the stately townhouse up for sale, I wondered who my new neighbor might be, and what fresh perspectives they’d bring to the neighborhood.
Luckily for me, that neighbor turned out to be Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, a climate activist and policy expert, photographer, and arts advocate originally from Mexico City. Martinez is currently finishing up a thorough renovation of the storied building at 116 W. Mulberry Street with the help of Baltimore’s award-winning rehab experts at EastWing Architects. The space will soon reopen as The Crow’s Nest—keeping Petit’s vision of affordable studios and diverse gallery programming alive and well, with a green twist.The Crow’s Nest will be Baltimore’s first arts incubator focused on climate and environmental justice.