Detroit Creative Space Needs Survey

Welcome Artists, Creatives and Culture Bearers!

The creative space needs survey is now closed.

Thank you to all who responded and shared your affordable housing and creative workspace needs and preferences. The vision for new space in Detroit is a facility designed and managed for creative people, where you can create, make, teach, uphold cultural practices, rehearse, perform, or exhibit. 

Survey results are being analyzed and a report of findings will be delivered to Detroit's office of Arts, Culture, & Entrepreneurship (ACE) in spring of 2023. Survey data will be used to assess and communicate demand for new space to funders and stakeholders and to design new space to the unique needs of interested artists and creatives. 

If you would like to stay in touch about this project, please sign up for the Detroit ACE Artist Mailing List . Alternatively, keep an eye on the ACE website for information about this initiative and project updates.


In early 2022, the City of Detroit’s Department of Arts, Culture & Entrepreneurship (ACE) invited national nonprofit Artspace to assess the potential to develop an affordable mixed-use, artist live/work facility in Detroit. In May 2022, a series of virtual and in-person focus groups and community conversations took place with creative sector individuals, organizations, and businesses; civic leaders; private sector community stakeholders; and potential funders and lenders.  The objective was to learn more about the need and opportunity for new space and to understand the best path forward. This phase was  a Preliminary Feasibility Study and the findings were overwhelmingly positive. It revealed a robust creative sector, strong local leaders, an enthusiastic community, and opportunity neighborhoods and funding sources.  It was clear that the next step was to conduct an Arts Market Study by using an online survey to gather input from a broader cross section of Detroit’s diverse creative and cultural community.

Anonymous survey data will be analyzed in aggregate to identify what types of spaces (live/work housing, studio/workspace, and shared specialized creative spaces) are needed and the amenities, features, and locations that are most preferred. It will also reveal what affordable really means to those interested. Ideas offered by respondents for the facility will be delivered to project leaders. All this information will be used to plan the proposed new facility. 

Documenting the demand for space, helps project leaders not only advocate for continued support and funding of this project, but to encourage developers and building owners throughout the city to create affordable space customized to the needs of the local creative sector.

We are seeking input from a diverse and representative group of people from the creative arts and culture sectors, broadly defined as Creatives, who live or work in Detroit or who want to. It is important to us to hear from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, the LGBTQIA+ community and all interested creatives, of all ages and backgrounds, in the region. 

If you are engaged in creative efforts and consider your work, product, or practice to be a form of art, craft, artisan product, a cultural/creative expression, or heritage preservation, then we probably will too. In our broad definition, an Artist, Creative or Culture Bearer:

  • Has a sincere commitment to their creative based work
  • May make things that are artistic, creative or functional, or all of the above! (woodturners, game designers, milliners, potters, writers, leather workers, artisanal foods/craft beverages, painters, performers, photographers, jewelers, floral arrangers, stylists)
  • May be engaged in any creative/artistic/cultural pursuits including visual/performing, digital/new media, culinary, literary, musical, administrative, museum, educational work or practices
  • May or may not make any income form their creative-based work (or may or may not aspire to)
  • May or may not create or practice full time (or may or may not aspire to)
  • Has or is developing a body of work or is actively training, creating, practicing, and/or making
  • Comes from any and all walks of life

If you would like to stay in touch about this project, please sign up for the Detroit ACE Artist Mailing List . Alternatively, keep an eye on the ACE website for information about this initiative and project updates.


The City of Detroit and the Department of Arts, Culture & Entrepreneurship (ACE) are leading this effort to ensure Detroit has affordable safe space for the creative sector and continues to be a place where local and regional creatives can live, work, create, and thrive. 

Artspace is the nonprofit consultant and developer offering its expertise to move this project forward. 

A Core Group of community members and City staff have dedicated their time to help advance this survey work and the vision of new, affordable space. We thank them for their contributions.

Arts Market Study (AMS) Core Group members:   

  • Ajara Alghali // TeMaTe Institute for Black Dance and Culture
  • Paula Anderanin // Creative Outlook / Event Producer
  • Karen Burton // Co-founder, CEO + Community Manager, Spacelab Detroit
  • Antoine Bryant // Director of Planning and Development (City of Detroit)
  • Simone Brytant // Artist
  • Sarah ElBohy // Planner East Region (City of Detroit)
  • Jason Friedmann // Director of Public Private Partnerships (City of Detroit)
  • Mikki Godfrey // Manager of The One Stop Shop, State of Michigan
  • Asia Hamilton // City of Detroit, Northwest Gallery
  • Clarida Harris // Ford: Director, Skills at Michigan Central
  • Monique Holliday // Hope Community Outreach and Development
  • Lacey Holmes // Project Manager (City of Detroit, ACE)
  • Donna Jackson // President, Women’s Caucus for Art
  • Douglas Jones // Business owner, artist and designer
  • Kendal Kuneman // Program Director at Detroit 2030
  • Garrick Landsberg // Director of Historic Preservation (City of Detroit)
  • Stephanie León // Manager of Hospitality + Events, Chroma Detroit
  • Tiff Massey // Interdisciplinary Artist
  • Raquel Newell // Detroit ACE Administrative Assistant (City of Detroit)
  • Loretta Powell // Owner and Co-founder, Little Detroit Community Garden
  • Rochelle Riley // Director (City of Detroit, ACE)
  • Omari Rush // Executive Director, Culture Source
  • Frannie Shepherd Bates* //  Director of Shakespeare in Prison
  • John Sloan III // CEO & Founding Artistic Director, Ghost Light Productions, Inc.
  • Olga Stella // Executive Director, Design Core
  • Rob Swetlic // Director of Communications, Culture Source
  • Jeremy Thomas // Communications & Marketing Manager (City of Detroit)
  • Daniel Washington // Executive Director (NW Goldberg Cares)
  • Harold Wilcox // Communications & Digital Media Coordinator (City of Detroit)
  • Elizabeth Williams // Project Leader, Illumin Art
  • Matthew Williams // Planner III (City of Detroit)

The survey is developed and owned by Artspace Consulting.

Artspace is a Minneapolis-based, national nonprofit developer and consultant with a mission to “create, foster and preserve affordable and sustainable space for artists, and arts organizations”. Artspace Consulting is a division of Artspace and leading this phase of work. The organization owns and operates 54 artist communities in 43 states. It’s long-term affordable artist live/work housing, mixed-use facilities include open floor plans, high ceilings, flexible-use community spaces for residents, artist-friendly management, secure entrances, large doors/elevators, sustainable and ADA accessible design, and pet friendly policies. Affordable, commercial space is created for local nonprofits and creative businesses and often located on the ground floor of its buildings.

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Photo Credit: Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (ACE)