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Toledo Hopes Arts Festivals Will Help Revitalize Its Downtown

Art Toledo | Caption: "Phantom galleries" like this one can be found in vacant storefronts in downtown Toledo

The city of Toledo is hoping a series of arts festivals this summer will help revitalize its downtown.

The first Saturday of each month this summer in Toledo will feature a festival highlighting community artists, as well as offering up servings of local oysters and beer. Musicians will entertain guests as they stroll through downtown streets from 12 noon until 5 p.m. on June 5, July 3 and August 7.

Toledo Mayor Rod Cross said the idea is to promote the concept of shopping local. “The pandemic kind of put a monkey wrench into that, and so everyone ended up going to online shopping, but we’re trying to draw everybody back to doing it in a local level,” he said.

Festival-goers will also be invited to stop at local art galleries, including some temporary ones that are set up in otherwise-vacant downtown storefronts.

Cross said the so-called “Phantom Galleries” are meant to highlight available retail property as well as to promote the work of local artists.

“We wanted to work with our local commercial property owners to advertise their space and advertise the art from the artists," he said.

The phantom galleries are on display each day, not just during the festival.


Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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