those spaces in between life, thinking, the physical world, and humanity
PREFACE: A LETTER FROM ARTSPACE
As the nation’s leading nonprofit developer for the arts, Artspace Projects is often asked how we measure the impact of our work. With 24 completed pro- jects in a dozen states, we have a great deal of experience in planning, devel- oping, and operating arts facilities, and we know that our projects provide many benefits not only to the artists who live and work in them but also to their surrounding neighborhoods and the larger communities of which they are a part. But this knowledge is based mainly on observation and anecdotal evidence, and given the vital importance of the arts in American life, we have long sought a way to supplement our empirical observations with more quan- tifiable measurements.
With this in mind, and with generous support from Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), Artspace invited Metris Arts Consulting to conduct How Artist Space Matters, a unique study of the economic, social, and physical im- pacts of our arts facilities.
What follows are case study impact evaluations of three early Artspace pro- jects: the Northern Warehouse Artists’ Cooperative, the Tilsner Artists’ Co- operative, both located in St. Paul, and the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art in Minneapolis. Ultimately, we hope to expand this study to include other Artspace projects around the country.
How will we use the information we learn? Our first priority will be to make our projects better. To be good stewards of the buildings we operate, and to keep the rents affordable for the artists who live and work in them – these are important ongoing objectives, but they are not enough. One of the outcomes of this study will be a new set of Artspace strategies to address the concerns of our tenants in meaningful ways.