Artspace is non-profit organization that uses the tools of real estate development to create affordable, appropriate places where artists can live and work. They consistently develop these projects in ways that also support more stable, healthy communities anchored in existing assets. Because Artspace owns each of the projects it develops, they are able to ensure that they remain affordable and accessible to artists in perpetuity. Over the last three decades, Artspace has led an accelerating national movement of artist-led community transformation. While embracing the value the arts bring to individual lives, Artspace has championed the once-radical idea that artists living on the edge of poverty and chronically underfunded arts organizations can leverage fundamental social change. With headquarters in Minneapolis and ofﬁces in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington D.C., Artspace is America’s leading developer of arts facilities and has served as a consultant to hundreds of communities and arts organizations nationwide.
Artspace's mission is to create, foster, and preserve affordable space for artists and arts organizations
Established in 1979 to serve as an advocate for artists’ space needs, Artspace effectively fulfilled that mission for nearly a decade. By the late 1980s, however, it was clear that the problem required a more proactive approach, and Artspace made the leap from advocate to developer. Since then, the scope of Artspace's activities has grown dramatically. Artspace is now a national leader in the field of developing affordable space that meets the needs of artists through the adaptive reuse of historic buildings and new construction.
Artspace’s first three live/work projects were in Saint Paul: the Northern Warehouse Artists’ Cooperative (1990), Frogtown Family Lofts (1992), and Tilsner Artists’ Cooperative (1993). In the mid-1990s, Artspace broadened its mission to include non-residential projects. The first of these, the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art (1995), transformed an historic bakery in the Minneapolis Warehouse District into 24 studios for mid-career artists.
Since then, Artspace has expanded its range of activities to include projects in operation or development in more than 20 states across the nation. In all, these projects represent nearly 2,000 live/work units and millions of square feet of non-residential community and commercial space. Artspace has evolved from a Minnesota organization with a few national projects into a truly national organization based in the Twin Cities, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans and Washington DC.
Artspace programs fall in three broad categories: Property Development, Asset Management, and Consulting Services.
Development projects, which typically involve the adaptive reuse of older buildings but can also involve new construction, are the most visible of Artspace’s activities. To date, they have completed more than 35 major projects. A dozen more are under construction or in the development pipeline. Artspace live/work projects are operating from coast to coast.
Artspace owns or co-owns all the buildings it develops; their portfolio now comprises more than $500 million worth of real property. They strive to manage their properties so that they will be well-maintained yet remain affordable to the low- and moderate-income artists for whom they were developed in the first place. Revenues in excess of expenses are set aside for preventive maintenance, commons area improvements, and building upgrades
In addition to its roles as developer, owner, and manager, Artspace acts as a consultant to communities, organizations, and individuals seeking information and advice about developing affordable housing and work space for artists, performing arts centers, and cultural districts, often within the context of historic preservation.
Where is Artspace Projects