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Event to assist in revitalizing downtown

July 29, 2009

The Element, a network of local arts advocates, is leading the effort to create, foster and preserve affordable living and working space for artists and arts organizations in downtown Rockford.

The Element invites the community to “A Corner for Artspace,” an upcoming event that will help complete the funding for a market study of the Rockford Region for the development of a mixed-use, live-work building for artists in downtown Rockford.

“Every successful downtown revitalization has included a major focus not just on the arts, entertainment and culture, but on artists themselves,” said Ed McCullough of The Element. “Artists lead the way in making a downtown ‘the place to live’ for the creative class in any city.”

The Artspace project is the first effort in Rockford to provide affordable live/ workspace for artists and to attract members of this community to live and work downtown.

“A Corner for Artspace”—at Coronado Corner Gift Shop, 314 N. Main St.—will be from 8 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Aug. 1. Entertainment includes Emily Hurd, Scattered Trees, Kelly Steward and Starlite Radio. Cost is $10.

The Element is working with Artspace—founded in 1979 as an arts advocacy group in Minneapolis—a nonprofit organization that develops affordable, multi-purpose space where artists can live and create. Since its inception, Artspace has developed more than 800 live and work spaces in 12 states, including 500,000 square feet of commercial space. The Rockford Area Association of Realtors and Swedish American Hospital have already stepped forward with contributions of $3,000 and $5,000, respectively.

from the July 29-August 4, 2009, issue

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