Yesterday, two companies announced plans to move into a portion of the Safeway space in Long Reach Village Center. Andersen-Becker Inc, a 25-year-old company, produces art clothing designed by Lee Andersen and sold under the Lee Andersen, ZooLOLogy and Victorian Doll labels. ManneqART, a nonprofit for Education in the Arts, will create DoodleHATCH Department Store which is a new tourist and community destination that offers interactive evolving art installations and experience to the public.

“This is another great day for Long Reach Village Center,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “Here are two innovative and creative companies that chose Howard County – and our new arts, culture, and entrepreneur hub – as their new locations. It will be wonderful to see these businesses collaborate and integrate with our local arts community and draw our residents and visitors to Long Reach.”

ManneqART’s DoodleHATCH Department Store is not actually a department store but is using the organizational device of a pretend ‘Department Store for Mythological Creatures, Time Travelers and Galactic Tourists’ to present interactive experiences to the public. Tickets will be priced by height – 10 cents per inch or $5 for the average person. ManneqART has approximately 100 life-sized artworks made by artists from around the country, some will be on display or worn by actors.

“The mission of ManneqART is to ‘Inspire Creativity’. We are very excited to bring life-sized ‘Sculpture on the Human Form’ and the DoodleHATCH Art Installation to the Long Reach Village Center,” said Lee Andersen founder of ManneqART. “We invite the community to enjoy creating this national tourist attraction with us! We open to the public on April 4th.”

Andersen-Becker Inc has 10 staff including seamstresses, inspection, shipping and administration. The company will also be creating a new fabric store and opening their fourth Factory Store in the Long Reach Village Center. Andersen-Becker produces approximately 10,000 garments and accessories each yearand supplies about 300 independent boutiques throughout the US. They provide internship opportunities for local students and donate materials to local artists.

“Lee and I have enjoyed living in Columbia for 30 years,” said Al Scolnik, controller of Andersen-Becker. “We look forward to continuing to design and produce ‘Lee Andersen Art Clothing’ for the national market from our new location at Long Reach Village Center.”

Previously, ManneqART partnered with Inner Arbor Trust to produce the FantasyWood Festival at Merriweather Park in May 2019. The festival sold 5000 tickets for the 3-day event in their first year and expect to double in 2020. ‘Builds’ from FantasyWood will be on display at DoodleHATCH and additional ‘builds’ for 2020, 2021 and 2022 will be produced at the Long Reach facility.

“I am excited to have Andresen-Becker and ManneqArt as part of the Long Reach Rising family,” said Opel Jones, District 2 Councilmember. “They are an important part of the art ecosystem and also bring economic benefits.”

The Long Reach Village Center was built in the late 1970s and is widely used by the neighborhood residents to meet a variety of office and commercial needs.  Prior to the center opening, residents of Long Reach gathered for a village meeting and voted for arts and crafts as the prevailing theme for the village center. The Long Reach Rising goal is to help stabilize the area through maintenance, repair, beautification, and placemaking. Andersen-Becker Inc and DoodleHATCH join Roll Up N Dye, the Columbia Arts Center, the Stonehouse Community Center, the African Art Museum of Maryland, and new Howard County Arts Council artists’ studios, as part of the emerging arts, culture, and entrepreneurship hub.

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There is a significant push to get new businesses in the Long Reach Village Center (as noted in the press release above).

Scott E

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