Charleston Creatives: Please Take the Artspace Survey!

On a rainy evening in February, Artspace consultants talked with the Lowcountry community about the desire and need for space dedicated to residential, commercial, performance and maker space for artists. The feedback – from artists, philanthropists, government officials, business owners, financiers – was overwhelming: there is a huge need and desire for additional arts-focused space in the Charleston region.

That need, however, is not without challenges.

Over the summer, Artspace returned its report to the Foundation and the core group of stakeholders identifying challenges that many of us are well aware of: the skyrocketing price of real estate, the lack of transportation networks and the rapid decline of available space. Other challenges were less well known: the region would need to make a strong case to public officials in order to receive the Low Income Housing Tax Credits usually needed to make these types of projects successful.  This is not an insurmountable challenge, as Artspace has successfully worked in other states, such as Louisiana, Texas, and Florida to secure those tax credits. But, it is clear that more work is needed to determine the next steps for our community.

Which is where, you the artists and other creatives, come in.

Unveiled Wednesday, September 14th, to a group of eager and interested artists and community stakeholders who braved yet another soggy Charleston evening, Artspace consultant Wendy Holmes discussed the importance of every artist, arts organization and creative business in the region taking 10 minutes to complete the Charleston Region Artist Market Survey.

Artspace needs some key information, including:

  • What arts discipline do you practice?
  • Do you currently rent or own your space?
  • Which areas would you consider living in?
  • And what amenities would make that space most desirable?
  • What is the maximum amount you would pay monthly for combined live/work space?

For organizations and creative businesses, Artspace also needs to know:

  • The number of public or private events you hold annually onsite?
  • How much space would you require in a new facility?
  • What is the maximum amount you would consider paying to lease space?

The possibility of a mixed use, multi-disciplinary space for the arts in the Lowcountry is exciting, but it’s impossible to move forward if artists, arts organizations and creative businesses don’t share their wants and needs by November 14th. The data will help all of us, including local governments, the business community, and other stakeholders determine how to proceed.  To date, 100 artists and 14 creative businesses/arts organizations have answered; at least 400 artists and 100 businesses/ organizations need to participate for a well-rounded response.

So, have you completed the survey? Have you passed it to your arts friends and colleagues?  The clock is ticking…

To read the executive summary of the Artspace Feasibility Report click here.

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