Artist Space Development: Financing

Christopher Walker

2007, 114 pages. Urban Institute, 2100 M Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20037, 202-833-7200,

In 2003, an Urban Institute report concluded that lack of affordable space posed critical constraints in artists' ability to pursue their work effectively. Scarcity of affordable space not only made it difficult for artists to work but also disrupted entire communities of artists who relied on each other for ideas and support. In response to this finding, this report looks at both a range of ways in which more affordable artist spaces can be created and the impact of artists' spaces on neighborhoods and cities.

This report is the result of research conducted in 2004 and 2005 for Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), a national initiative dedicated to increasing support for individual artists. An Urban Institute study published in 2003 had identified the need for artists' spaces as one of critical challenges facing individual artists. In many cities and neighborhoods, affordable spaces once occupied by artists had given way to a rising tide of gentrification and escalating rents. In other places, the low-incomes earned by artists put good-quality spaces in which to live and work out of reach. Yet in some communities, efforts by the private and public sector had helped artists find and renovate spaces, sometimes on their own and sometimes aided by the work of nonprofit and other developers.