What We Do
Our mission is to create, foster, and preserve affordable and sustainable space for artists and arts organizations.
FAQs About Our Projects
Artspace is a nonprofit arts organization specializing in creating, owning, and operating affordable spaces for artists and creative businesses. These spaces include live/work apartments for artists and their families, working artist studios, arts centers, commercial space for arts-friendly businesses, and other projects.
Our mission is to create, foster, and preserve affordable and sustainable space for artists and arts organizations. Artspace works in three major areas: Consulting Services, Property Development, and Asset Management. Through our Consulting Services, we share our expertise with clients across the country. Property Development creates new Artspace projects through a mix of historic renovation and new construction. Artspace's Asset Management group ensures long-term financial stability and affordability for artists.
A live/work project is a residential building in which each dwelling has extra space (100 to 150 square feet) that the artist can use as a studio. Live/work units by Artspace have consistent design elements, such as high ceilings, large windows, durable surfaces, and wide doorways. These spaces are designed to accommodate and foster a variety of creative processes. Artspace live/work projects also include common spaces such as galleries, meeting rooms, and green space that encourage tenant engagement, cooperation, and community involvement. Most Artspace live/work projects are mixed-use buildings with housing on the upper floors and non-residential space on the lower floors.
Yes. The majority of Artspace’s housing units are affordable to households earning at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) of the city or county in which the project is located.
In setting our rents, we adhere to affordable housing guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD uses a formula based on the local Area Median Income (AMI), the degree of affordability of any given unit (expressed as a percentage of the AMI), the number of bedrooms in the unit, and the number of people in the household. While rents vary by community, our goal is to provide affordable space that is adequate for artists both to live and to work in their units. Artspace buildings provide live/work apartments that are larger than other affordable spaces, and usually less expensive than other comparable spaces. And as part of our sustainability model, Artspace buildings remain affordable in perpetuity.
Anyone who qualifies for affordable housing may apply for residency in an Artspace project, but we give preference to those applicants who participate in and are committed to the arts. Applicants need not derive their income from their art.
We define the term “artist” broadly to comprise a wide variety of creative pursuits, including traditional art forms and those as diverse as clothing design, weaving, and even canoe making. A community-based Selection Committee interviews all applicants. The committee looks for evidence that applicants are seriously committed to their art and that they will be mindful and positive contributors to the building and community. The application and qualification process does not include judgment of the quality of work.
At present, we own and operate some 50 projects across the country, with more on the way. Most are live/work or mixed-use buildings comprised of more than 1,000 residential units. Our portfolio is rounded out with non-residential projects that provide space for artists and cultural organizations.
Communities interested in pursuing an Artspace project invite our consulting staff to assess the feasibility of developing a project. In an average year we make 15 to 20 feasibility visits to cities around the country; of these, two to four typically lead to projects. Our decisions are primarily based on the feasibility and viability of the project, as well as community support and engagement.
Artspace projects normally span four to seven years.
First, we are committed to community engagement as an essential part of the development process. Each Artspace project is built to address the unique needs of a specific community. We believe that the key to a successful project is taking the time to observe and listen to artists, civic leaders, and other stakeholders in the community. Second, we research and build relationships with a variety of public and private funding sources. Though this can be a time-consuming process, it has an important upside: Artspace projects are fully supported and funded at the time of groundbreaking.
We access public funding sources including those available for the creation of affordable housing, economic development, historic preservation, and cultural facility development. Private sector funding includes conventional bank financing as well as individual and community philanthropic support.
If you are currently a residential or commercial tenant in an Artspace building with a concern about your property, please contact the property's asset manager or the local property manager. Contact information for your property's asset manager and/or property manager can be found on the individual property page.