What's New

What's New

Artspace to Visit Central Arkansas

Arkansas Arts Council - Wednesday, July 10, 2019

An initiative is underway to bring affordable living and work space to Central Arkansas artists. 

“Things are moving, but everything is in the initial phases,” said Patrick Ralston, director of the Arkansas Arts Council. “The biggest obstacles our artists face is finding affordable living and work space. We want our art communities to do more than survive – we want to help them thrive.”

Windgate Foundation, a nonprofit group located in Little Rock, has invited Artspace, a nonprofit real estate organization, to conduct a feasibility study on the Little Rock-North Little Rock area. The first public input session is 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at 501. W. Ninth St. Refreshments will be provided at 6:30 p.m.

Artspace creates affordable places for artists to live and work and offers management services to sustain art communities. The Walton Family Foundation partnered with the group last year to assess art communities and markets in Rogers, Bentonville, Fayetteville and Springdale. The most recent request would be the first time Artspace has considered a project in Central Arkansas.

Earlier this year, artists and community leaders, including Arkansas Arts Council staff, joined together to create the Artspace Core Group Lead. The group has met several times to discuss art community needs. Affordable space has been among the top concerns, said Patricia Forgy, Windgate Foundation executive director, in a news release.

“Artspace creates affordable, sustainable spaces for artists and arts organizations,” Forgy said. “In return, the arts become a more rooted and integral part of our community, which in turn builds social bonds, civic cohesion and economic strength.”

The public meeting is an opportunity for community members to share their thoughts and provide feedback. Artspace staff then will deliver a feasibility assessment, which will include recommended next steps.

“Artspace is honored to have been invited by the Windgate Foundation to begin the process of testing the feasibility of creating long-term affordable space for artists and arts and cultural organizations in Little Rock and North Little Rock,” said Wendy Holmes, senior vice president of Consulting and Strategic Partnership at Artspace. “This will be the fifth Arkansas community in which Artspace has worked in the past 18 months. We sense a strong drive for supporting arts and culture across the state.”

For more information, contact Mary Kennedy with the Artspace Core Group Lead at 816-309-1939. Information about the meeting is available on Facebook. Information about Artspace is available on their website.