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Partnership is Aiming for Affordable Artist Housing in Decatur

This Saturday, an event with the increasingly enthusiastic title of danceDanceDANCE! hopes to spark a serious discussion about the future of the proposed "EcoArts District" in Decatur. A partnership between the City of Decatur, Decatur Arts Alliance and Zoetic Dance Ensemble, dDD! is an "all-ages participatory dance experience" that will take place in the vacant buildings and spaces along East Howard Avenue between Trinity Avenue and the Ice House Lofts. Attendees can also explore models of sustainable artist housing, the first step toward the creation of an EcoArts District that would provide "affordable, sustainable housing for artists and city infrastructure that encouraged all kinds of creative expression," even in the face of Decatur's influx of pricier developments and housing.

The idea for the district initiated from Amanda Thompson, who has the unusual career combo of Zoetic Dance Ensemble choreographer/City of Decatur planning director. After Thompson approached pubic artist and architect Amy Landisberg about the idea last year, Landisberg made the district the theme of her Georgia Tech studio class of architecture majors, sourcing ideas about affordable artist housing, environmental sustainability and performance spaces from her students. This event, which was paid for by a $7,500 crowdfunding effort, is the first public presentation of ideas relating to the EcoArts District.

The free dDD! event runs from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Zoetic Dance Ensemble and other dance troupes will present a variety of performances — including an original composition by Atlanta native James Sizemore, who worked on The Hobbit films — before the vacant building is turned into a public dance club for the remainder of the night. Root City will open a pop-up market at Color Wheel (508 East Howard Ave.) from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.

· Decatur Expecting Deluge of One-Bedroom Apartments [Curbed Atlanta]