By Anne E. O’Keefe
Rockford Area Arts Council
The time for artists to be heard is now! Wendy Holmes, vice president of Consulting and Resource Development, and Stacey Mickelson, director of Government Relations, returned to Rockford to launch Artspace Rockford Artist Market Survey. We encourage all artists to go to www.Artspcacerockford.org by April 10 to be counted. Information is kept confidential and will guide the project as to how many units this market will sustain and what the space will look like. Please remember the definition of artist for this project is broad; some of the Artspace locations have included the healing and culinary arts.
A list of 5,000 artists within a 50-mile radius will be surveyed. The formula for Artspace projects has typically been that there would need to be 200 people interested to move forward with a 25- to 30-unit building. After the April 10 deadline, Artspace will take 60 days to analyze the data and report back to The Element, Rockford Area Arts Council, the city and other interested parties. If the results are such that Rockford cannot sustain an Artspace project, the information collected from the market survey may guide the progress of a 15-unit, privately-developed project, for example.
Once the survey results are presented to Rockford, and the project is ready to take the next step, the Property Development Team of Artspace will look at sites, finances and availability; and recommend to rehab or to build new. Local architects and property management will be hired. When the time comes to choose artists, a panel from the community will be assisting in the interview process. Artists are not juried in—they are chosen based on their passion and level of engagement in the arts.
Artspace does a remarkable job of tailoring the facility to the location. In Hawaii, components for cultural preservation have been built in. Take the survey today!
Anne E. O’Keefe is executive director of the Rockford Area Arts Council.
From the Mar. 3-9, 2010 issue