|The Project exhibition space in FAT Village|
For a growing arts district near Fort Lauderdale, there's a lot riding on a name. Unfortunately, there's some confusion about it.
FAT Village is the stretch of NW First Avenue between Fifth Street and Sistrunk. It's home to a monthly art walk
(last Saturday nights from 7-11) and special events like a Day of the Dead
parade in October. While the neighborhood was gathering steam over the past year, New Times
articles routinely spelled out what it stands for: Flagler Arts and Technology Village.
Which only leads to more confusion, seeing as the larger official neighborhood containing FAT Village -- from Broward and Federal to the FEC tracks -- is called
"Flagler Village." Unaccustomed residents and visitors may think that they're the same, but FAT Village is inside Flagler Village, and... well, what's going on here anyway?
Doug McCraw, an art collector and real estate investor, is the father of FAT Village. He owns the block-long stretch of warehouses along First Avenue, as well as the building on Andrews and Fifth. When he was thinking about turning the buildings into an arts hub, he considered a few different names.
"I was thinking, 'What the heck do you call this place?'" says McCraw. "I was going to the beach one day, and I thought of FAT Village." He says the name may seem a little awkward, but it "fits the funky perspective" of the tiny neighborhood.
The next FAT Village art walk is on Saturday, February 26... stop by and see for yourself whether the neighborhood is worth telling people about, despite the necessary explanation when they ask about the name.
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