Utica unveils arts-based development project

Published Jul 17, 2017 at 4:00pm

Utica is on the national radar again – this time for a unique arts development project.

Mayor Robert Palmieri, Artspace representatives, Cornell Rust to Green Urban Studio and the City’s Utica Artspace Committee announced Wednesday an online Utica Artspace Arts Market Survey that is now live online at www.UticaArtspaceSurvey.org The group issued a “call to action” from the regional arts community to take the survey — setting the stage for a potential $20 million arts development project in the city.

Artspace representatives returned to Utica on Wednesday as a follow-up to their Utica Artspace Feasibility Study conducted in fall of 2015. As a result of their last visit, which included tours of potential project locations, Utica received a positive report which deemed the city as a qualified potential candidate for a multi-million dollar Utica Artspace development project.

Wednesday’s visit included several focus group discussions and the launch of the on-line Utica Artspace Arts Market Survey that will help the national organization to gauge the level of regional interest and specific space needs of the arts community.

Because Artspace is committed to community engagement as an essential part of their development process and because each of their projects are built to address the unique needs of the specific community, strong participation from the arts community in the Arts Market Survey is imperative to move the project forward.

The Utica Artspace Arts Market Survey will be available online at: www.UticaArtspaceSurvey.org and paper copies will be mailed upon request. Please also note and visit the Utica Artspace Facebook page.

What is Artspace?

Artspace is America’s leading developer of arts facilities and the nation’s leader in artist-led community transformation specializing in building safe, affordable creative communities. They offer Property Development, Asset Management and Consulting Services and operate 46 projects across the country, representing a unique $600 million investment in America’s arts infrastructure, the organization said.

Current Artspace projects operating in New York State include Artspace Buffalo Lofts, El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 in New York City and Artspace Patchogue Lofts on Long Island.

Artspace projects transform communities by:

  • Creating affordable, appropriate space that allows individual artists and arts organizations to be more artistically productive and increase their revenue;
  • Animating deteriorated historic structures and underutilized spaces, bringing them back on the tax rolls;
  • Fostering the safety and livability of neighborhoods without gentrification-led displacement;
  • Helping anchor arts districts;
  • Expanding access to the arts;
  • Attracting artists, businesses and organizations to the area; and by
  • Creating jobs, safe streets, sustainable development and a more cohesive society.

Artspace housing units are maintained by Artspace as affordable artist housing to households earning at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

To date, the national Artspace organization has completed nearly 2,000 affordable live/work spaces for artists and their families as well as more than a million square feet of non-residential space for artists and arts organizations to use their expertise to support, promote, present and/or teach their art form – and market their skills and work. Artspace projects are typically developed in one building and have been transformational to downtown business districts across the country. An artist can be broadly defined by much more than painting, drawing, sculpting or photography. Artspace defines an artist as a person who has a commitment to and/or participation in the arts and not simply as a hobby.

An artist may work in or is skilled in any of the fine arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, book art, mixed media, print-making, etc.).

Artists create imaginative works of aesthetic value (film, video, digital media, literature, costume design, architecture or music composition) and functional art (jewelry, rugs, furniture, pottery, toys, quilts, etc.).

Some are performers (singers, musicians, dancers, actors or performance artists) and others are involved in culturally significant practices, including designers, technicians, tattoo artists, hairdressers, chef/culinary artists, crafts persons, teachers and administrators, using their expertise to support, promote, present and/or teach their art form through events, activities, performance, classes and retail spaces.