Artspace is a widely recognized non-profit organization, whose mission is to create, foster, and preserve affordable space for artists and arts organizations. With headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington DC, Artspace runs a network of more than 35 affordable arts facilities with over 1,300 affordable live/work units in 15 states.
At the invitation of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, Artspace conducted a two-day Preliminary Feasibility Visit in April 2015. While in Kansas City, Artspace representatives assessed several communities (West Bottoms, the historic Northeast, 18th & Vine, Troost Avenue Corridor, Main Street Corridor, Marlborough, and the East Crossroads) and held several focus group meetings and a public information session, gathering information about the needs, trends, and vision of the area’s arts community.
On October 1, Wendy Holmes, Artspace Senior Vice-President, Consulting and Strategic Partnerships returned to present a Pre-feasibility Report on their April visit, to Mayor Sly James and City Council at a business session (embed link to Artspace Prefeasibility Report ). Several community members who participated in the April focus groups and information session, also attended the business session.
Findings Holmes shared in her presentation included:
- The number of artists in Kansas City has grown 33% in the last decade;
- 6,000 citizens identified themselves as artists;
- Community development and the arts are both high priorities for Kansas City’s philanthropic sector;
- There is no shortage of affordable artist studio spaces, but there aren’t many true live/work spaces.
The report prompted a positive response to the intention of affordable artist live/work space. The study’s recommendation was to conduct a market survey for artists, nonprofits and creative businesses. The benefits of the survey would be to:
- Quantify the demand for arts and creative spaces;
- Identify types of spaces that artists want/need;
- Inform site selection, design and programmatic decisions;
- Maintain community involvement throughout the project, and
- Help build support for funding.
View the complete Pre-Feasibility report. View Wendy Holmes’ full presentation to the Mayor and City Council. More information will be provided on this page, as the status of the next phase is confirmed. Stay tuned.