Artspace is a non-profit organization that has been developing art facilities across the country in an effort to transform the art scene in cities. They have partnered with the El Paso Community Foundation to bring affordable living for artists while cultivating job creation and developing the art community.
Roderick Artspace Lofts, named after Dorrance D. Roderick, who was a pioneer in radio, television and print journalism in El Paso, are located downtown at the corner of Oregon Street and Missouri Avenue. This location was chosen and transformed into the city’s arts destination. The Artspace project is meant to rejuvenate the neighborhood and add to El Paso’s existing institutions, such as the El Paso’s Children’s Museum, art museum, history museum, science museum, and theater.
The buildings took over seven years to develop and build. The El Paso Community Foundation donated $10 million out of the $12.7 million it cost to build the project. The Artspace Lofts opened to tenants in El Paso in 2016. Current resident, Diego Martinez, a UTEP alum with a degree in special education, was one of the first to apply for housing at the lofts.
“As an artist, to live there you definitely have to stay active,” Martinez said.