Arts and Creative Spaces, Venues, and Districts: Ensure growth and sustainability in the creative sector economy by providing artists, creative workers, and cultural organizations with the resources and support they need to create and thrive.
Arts districts and concentrated areas of artists' studios, creative work spaces, and arts venues contribute to the vitality of many plans in the city; including the Northeast Arts District, the Hennepin Theater District, the Cedar Riverside area, the Mill District, South Chicago Avenue, West Broadway, and others.
Former industrial areas with low rents have traditionally been attractive to artists and other creative entrepreneurs due to their affordability, historic character, flexible large-scale open floor plans, sound isolation, and natural ventilation. This proximity has provided artists with informal opportunities to connect and learn from each other, collectively exhibit, and sell and market their creative work. Events such as Art-A-Whirl provide the public with the opportunity to see 800 artists in every medium at more than 60 locations throughout Northeast Minneapolis.
Clusters of galleries and studios in previously underused retail spaces, along with creative businesses in underutilized office and commercial spaces, also benefit both the creative entrepreneur and the local community. The same characteristics that make an area attractive to artists and creative workers, along with the character they subsequently bring to the area, ultimately makes these places ripe for more development, coffee houses, breweries, and people seeking unique housing options. There is the potential that with this competition for space, property values will increase. Artists and creative workers, who typically rent their spaces, may be priced out.
The transition from artist districts to gentrification is a common issue that cities across the US have reckoned with for generations. These same challenges also undermine the ability of a multitude of small arts and culture for-profit/nonprofit and arts incubators to sustain themselves. There is a need to identify the tools available to artists, creative workers, arts organizations or venues, and cities seeking to prevent displacement. These tools should also assist other long-term residents and businesses affected by this displacement.
The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to ensure growth and sustainability in the creative sector economy by providing artists, creative workers, and cultural organizations with the resources and support they need to create and thrive.
- Explore strategies to retain buildings that offer artists and creative workers access to flexible and affordable spaces, spaces that serve unique production needs, and proximity that allows for interaction and learning from one another.
- Support creative institutions that contribute to the vitality of arts, cultural, and creative spaces and districts within the city.
- Support community efforts to brand and market arts districts.
- Partner with private, philanthropic and other government institutions to target investments in arts and creative spaces, venues, and districts, particularly in communities where there are existing racial, ethnic, and economic disparities.
- Explore strategies to prevent displacement and preserve the affordability of artist and creative studios, work spaces, live spaces, venues, and districts such as co-op models, subsidies, long-term leases, and an Advanced Notice of sale policy.
- Acknowledge and address the role the creative sector plays in displacing long-term residents and businesses.