Many communities are investing in artist space and artists as a key component of their economic development strategy. A good way to think about artists and small creative industries are as important small business in your community. They have similar requirements as many light industrial businesses and can have many similar positive economic and community development outcomes. This section of the web site helps municipalities understand how to be strategic about how to go about this type of development.
Artist/Creative Industry Space Benefits Communities
Cities are becoming involved in creative space for artists and small creative businesses for many reasons:
- Many completed artist space projects have seen home-ownership stabilize, businesses enter, and residents feel safer in the neighborhoods where they occur.
- Many of these projects create connections between the artists and the community, enriching neighborhood culture.
- Tax-revenues to the city and county increase as properties stabilize.
- The projects often prove to be an effective organizing tool, galvanizing communities and generating enthusiasm and support for community revitalization.
- Buildings designated specifically for artists give artists living and/or working in those buildings increased visibility and credibility as artists.
Municipalities can play a key role in assisting in the creation of artist space in either responding to the expressed needs of artists or arts institutions or initiating or creating an environment supportive of artists and arts institutions. Cities and towns can influence
- regulation (zoning ),
- provide incentives (subsidies, loans, tax incentives),
- work on what they own (selling city owned property, wayfinding, streetscape),
- provide information (clarifying city processes, surveying your artist community, promoting projects), and
- buy and display art, put good art in public buildings, support arts in schools, etc.
(clarifying city processes, surveying your artist community, promoting projects), and
1. Cultural Inventorying
ArtistLink recommends that before any effort to assist artists in your community is begun, that it’s imperative to begin to have conversations with local constituents and to survey your artist community to better understand their needs. In other words - do a cultural inventory .
2. Artist Space Basics  – read up on our page on the basics of artist space.
3. Check out what other cities have done