119: The RiffRaff Arts Collective – An Artistic Community Takes Root

We’re kicking off Mercer Grassroots March with an interview with Lori McKinney, who started The RiffRaff Arts Collective. In many ways, Lori McKinney and her husband Robert are the true pioneers of the Mercer Grassroots movement, and The RiffRaff Arts Collective is the home base for their operations.

As artists themselves, Lori and Robert wanted a place where the community could come together and have a creative space, and The RiffRaff was born from that concept. The RiffRaff is a space for all artists to come together and express themselves. There’s a storefront downstairs with gallery space, and The Room Upstairs is a performance space for open mic nights, concerts, and other community events. Lori also helped found the Princeton Renaissance Project, which focuses on revitalizing the Mercer Street area. To this day, Lori still helps businesses find their roots on Mercer Street. She takes pride in the welcoming community environment that has blossomed from their hard work.

We hope this episode inspires you – for us, this was a transformative conversation. Listen to the episode, then plan to wander down Mercer Street, admire the murals, and think about the dedication that went into transforming this downtown area.