30 years of Milo Arts

Chris DeVille
The main entrance of the Milo Arts building

Milo Arts was a radical concept 31 years ago when the live-work artists’ community launched in a former Milo-Grogan schoolhouse built in 1894. Since then, it has become the longest-standing such residence in Columbus. Its history is tumultuous and its endurance is remarkable, as recalled here by some of those who helped it survive.

In 1988, Mann’s building at 617 E. Third Ave. lost its tenant, a faith mission.

Rick Mann: When the mission left, Donna Mann, my ex, and Pat Durkin wanted to see it become an artist community.

Pat Durkin: All these cool movies, “About Last Night” or anything where they had these awesome New York loft studios, basketball courts and stuff—Milo seemed like the place to do that in Columbus.

Mann: I’m kind of a dreamer or maybe an idealist or maybe someone who doesn’t accept so much of the status quo. I thought of it as an opportunity to better understand the ways that people live, or could live if they were up to it.

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