Want More Arts Space?
The survey is sponsored by the City of Austin, Austin Playhouse, and the Minneapolis-based nonprofit developer Artspace Projects, primarily to gather info about what kinds of artist live/work spaces would be most useful in the 35-40 units that are planned to be built on top of the new Austin Playhouse facility set for construction this year at Mueller Town Center. Ever since Playhouse Artistic Director Don Toner began planning his company's move out of Penn Field, he's been in touch with the Artspace folks about the possibility of its new home housing loft-studios for artists. Such projects are expensive – $12 million or more – and require the full participation of the community, but Artspace has successfully developed more than two dozen live/work space projects over the last 30 years (including the Elder Street Artist Lofts in Houston and the National Hotel Artist Lofts in Galveston) and has more than a dozen currently in development (including the Artspace El Paso Lofts in that city). Finding out what Austin creatives want and need in such spaces from the creatives themselves is crucial to making this initial Austin project a success.But the survey data won't stop with this project. The information will also be disseminated to other developers, building owners, and nonprofits in Austin, so they'll be informed about what the local creative sector most wants and needs in housing and facilities, and so they can also be incorporated into future planning efforts. The online survey was launched back around Halloween and is only up through this Thursday, Jan. 10. If you've thought about taking it but haven't yet made the time, don't delay any longer. It'll take all of 10 minutes of your time to fill out the survey for individual artists – maybe 20 if you also take the survey for cultural organizations and creative sector businesses. Artspace, the Playhouse, and the city want to hear from everyone, so help them out and help yourself out by getting on over to artspaceaustinproject.org, and telling them what you think.