The results of the Survey of Artists’ Space Needs and Preferences and the Survey of Arts Organizations and Interested Businesses indicate demand for arts and cultural spaces in Dearborn! Spaces of all types are needed, including:
- Residences for artists and their families, specially designed to provide both live and work space;
- Studio and work spaces for artists to rent on an ongoing or occasional basis;
- Permanent spaces for arts and cultural organizations and arts-friendly businesses;
- Performance/production, exhibit, conference, and educational spaces for organizations to rent on a short-term or occasional basis.
Overall it is exciting that there is a lot of diversity in the types of creative activities these interested artists are involved. The strong interest in a business center may indicate that many of these artists are actively pursuing their craft as a serious profession or small business. The need for gallery and retail space demonstrates that artists are looking for ways to market and sell their work. Often it is challenging for emerging artists to find outlets to showcase their work.
We always hope to see an ethnically diverse artist pool, as this leads to a diverse community in the completed project. Overall, we are pleased with the diversity of the responding, interested artists. One of the exciting things about artist live/work projects is that every one is different. They are shaped by the unique qualities of the neighborhoods and cities in which they exist.
Representatives of organizations or businesses completed the Survey of Arts Organizations and Interested Businesses, indicating an “interest in utilizing some type of space in a new multi-use arts facility in Dearborn.” This creates a great opportunity for a vibrant facility that could catalyze further economic development in the area, and spark new partnerships and programs for the benefit of the local community. It is exciting to see the terrific mix between for and nonprofit entities as well as between arts related organizations/businesses and arts/cultural organizations.
There is clearly an opportunity to support emerging organizations and micro-businesses with this project. Being a part of a multi-use facility may provide the leg-up these smaller enterprises need. Having affordable space, shared services and programs, and greater visibility will help to increase their chances of success. A number of organizations stated needs for specialized artist workspaces, gallery space, rehearsal space, and individual artist studio space.
The generalized data provided in the report is sufficient to lend credibility to the potential for a mixed-use arts project, serving arts/cultural organizations and businesses. There are clearly many vibrant emerging and established enterprises with specialized space needs, which if met, will help them fulfill their missions and business intents.
So what’s next? We’ll be working with the City and other stakeholders to establish a preliminary project scope and a space development program for evaluating building and site capacity. Candidate building/sites will be analyzed with respect to cost, availability, and other factors impacting their ability to address development program goals. Existing information will be reviewed about potential site(s) to identify key legal, environmental, physical, and financial issues affecting their suitability. We’ll also negotiate with property owners with the goal of obtaining a site control agreement and work toward a purchase agreement or other means of site control.