The City of Utica is located in the Mohawk Valley region of Upstate New York. Recovering from the decline of the textile industry and resultant population drop and vacancies, the city has committed to a creative placemaking approach towards revitalization. To invigorate the downtown corridor, the community is leveraging its gorgeous historic architecture, active arts scene, and welcoming nature as a designated United Nations resettlement community. A group of local leaders invited Artspace to conduct a series of studies to quantify demand for artist spaces, with data gathered from 2016-17 (including a survey of nearly 600 respondents) indicating substantial need for space for artists to both live and conduct creative work downtown.
ARTSPACE UTICA will be a four-story building located at the intersection of the Commercial and Arts & Cultural Districts downtown. The catalytic, new construction project will be centrally located between the Stanley Center for the Arts and Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. The project will address critical affordable housing and economic development opportunities for the creative workforce by creating 43 live/work units for local artists and their families on the upper floors, and 770 square feet of community space on the ground floor. Units will be affordable for those earning between 40–80% of Area Median Income (AMI) and will serve artists, including those from immigrant and refugee communities. Artspace Utica will include a resident gallery/community room to encourage tenant engagement, cooperation, and community involvement, ultimately contributing to a healthy urban environment that supports a strong arts community and growing creative sector.